Friday, May 4, 2007


SMILES is an acronym for Special Methods in Learning Equine Skills. This is a non-profit organization that exists in my local area, which was founded in 1985. It offers recreational and therapeutic horsemanship lessons to children and adults with disabilities whether they are physical, cognitive, or emotional. I think this is great. There are many benefits to this for people with disabilities. Some of these include : Improved Posture and Balance, Increased Strength, Increased Flexibility, and Improved Eye-Hand Coordination. Not to mention, Independence, Increased Self-Esteem and Awareness, along with many more. Apparently there is a difference between Therapeutic Riding and Hippotherapy. Therapeutic Riding is equine - based activities used to help the cognitive, physical, emotional, and social well-being of the person with the disability. Hippotherapy is a prescribed medical treatment performed by a licensed therapist using the horse as the tool for treatment. They have both, volunteers and therapists. I find this fascinating. Are there any of these in your area? And are they named the same?

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