Equine-Assisted Therapy’s Affect on Social Skills and Attention among School Age Children Joanne Gamache University of Puget Sound December 6, 2004 Introduction



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Equine-Assisted Therapy’s Affect on Social Skills and Attention among School Age Children
Joanne Gamache

University of Puget Sound

December 6, 2004

Introduction:

Horseback riding has been used as a form of therapy since the fifth century B.C. when wounded Greek soldiers were rehabilitated on horseback (MacKinnon, Noh, Laliberte, Lariviere, & Allan, 1995). Equine-assisted therapy (equine therapy) was introduced in the United States in the mid-1960’s (Engel, 1984). Occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech-language pathologists certified through the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) lead therapy sessions. Equine therapy is believed to have great benefits both physically and psychosocially for children and adults with disabilities. This unique form of therapy also provides opportunities for people with disabilities to be involved in a risk exercise and social activity.






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