Giddy Up Horsey
Written by Sue Altham, Physiotherapist
The clocks have changed and hopefully spring is on its way and as a self professed horsey nut (yes my horse did come to my wedding!) I am looking forward to getting back into the saddle.
As part of my role within the practice I have the unique opportunity to also be Lancashire County Physiotherapist for the Riding for Disabled Association (RDA) – how lucky am I to do a job I love and play out with horses!?
So, what for me as a Physiotherapist makes horse riding/therapeutic riding so great? Well of course – its fun, but its so much more….
The unique pattern of a horse at walk has the fantastic ability to mimic human walking helping to train and stretch muscles repeatedly working on balance and strength -Physio on horse back – Win Win!. It can help with joint mobility, body symmetry, co-ordination, fitness, communication, learning responsibility and confidence building. Riding also helps the internal organs just as walking on foot does which can aid in liver function and digestion…. Need I continue?
So what about accessibility? Last month I provided education and training to RDA coaches on Hoisting and Mounting techniques. You do not have to be able to climb up to ride a horse, support is at hand and the wonderful staff and volunteers are there to help.
Hoist & Mounting Training at Midgeland RDA, Meet Radar their Mechanical Horse.
The possibilities around horses are endless, yes there are real horses however you could try a mechanical horse, learn to vault, hack out, jump, do dressage. Alternatively, why not try carriage riding or spend time on the ground grooming and caring for the animals. If you need help from a physiotherapist to do this, give me a call, I am happy to guide you.
Riding Not for you? There are a huge raft of other activities and sports you may wish to consider. Why not have a look at the links below for ideas: