Equine therapy is a unique and positive approach to improving the lives of children impacted by the challenges of autism. Working with horses can lead to improvements in the areas of function most severely affected by autism, including physical, social and emotional.
There is a unique bond which forms between the horse and autistic child – this bond becomes the foundation for the autistic child’s growth. Forming emotional bonds with others can be a huge hurdle for autistic kids, but through physical contact, they can experience and grow an emotional connection with the horse, which can later be transferred to other people and animals.
Since horses are social creatures like humans, they require connection and communication in order to perform and interact.
Autistic children learn to use communication (both verbal and nonverbal) in a way that can be more fun and rewarding than some traditional therapies. Riding a horse can even help improve the balance of autistic children.
Horses have a way of drawing autistic children outside of themselves – a feat that many specialists and experts still struggle with. Horses have a calming and soothing effect on kids living with autism. From increased eye contact to improved communication, children with autism can show remarkable results when working in equine therapy programs.