Saddle up! Theraputic Horseback Riding
Both Washington and Frederick Counties offer opportunities to teach riding skills to people with disabilities. Therapeutic riding is a very beneficial means of exercise and/or rehab for children and adults with a wide range of cognitive, physical and emotional conditions. Currently, the two centers in Washington and Frederick counties are, Star Community Inc. in Hagerstown, Maryland, and Silverado Farm, in Thurmont, Maryland.
Licensed and specialized professionals perform equine assisted activities, often called hippotherapy. Physical, occupational and speech/language therapy treatment strategies utilize equine movements as part of an integrated intervention program to achieve functional outcomes. Equine movements provide multi-dimensional movement, which is valuable due to its rhythmic and repetitive nature. The horse provides a dynamic base of support, making it an excellent tool for increasing trunk strength, balance, overall postural strength and motor planning.