Riders go through complex series of movements, which consciously and unconsciously use all the body's muscles. The horse rhythmically and naturally moves the body in a manner similar to the human gait, improving posture, balance and muscle control.
Horseback riding increases concentration, improves sequential thought processing, increases the rider's ability to articulate emotions, develops special awareness.
Riding provides the opportunity for riders to bond with the horse, instructor, and volunteers, which assists in the development of trust. It is also effective in calming emotive outbursts and reinforcing appropriate behaviors. Contact with the horses and horsemanship training provide a non-competitive setting for learning. New abilities, self-discipline, and improved concentration build self-confidence.
Equine assisted therapy nurtures a positive self-image. Disabled riders often experience independence for the first time in their lives. They also develop an awareness of being part of a team. All riders have the ability to learn skills and participate in a recognized sport. All riders grow in self-esteem, which they take back into their own worlds.