Autism – Why I Believe Horse Riding Is Important

I love horses, I always have. At five I was having horse riding lessons. But horses are an expensive past time. If I ever won the lottery, horses are high on my list of must haves. I have tried to pass this love of horses onto my children. Whenever I get the chance I have taken them on pony rides. Ethan had his very first pony ride at three. Little E experienced her first pony ride at Center Parcs. On my Disney World bucket list is horse riding at Fort Wilderness. We even had miniature horses at our wedding they are the main reason I wanted to include Cinderella’s Carriage into our day. I also believe that horse riding is important for the disabled. I believe you can create a connection with a horse even if you struggle with social interaction. Ethan’s school also promote this idea. When I discovered that they included horse riding in their learning I knew that was the school I wanted Ethan to attend.

center parcs pony ride at elveden forest

Ethan’s Horse Riding Lessons

When Ethan moved into his new class last year and into the junior side his horse-riding journey at school started. Even though that school year was one of the toughest for us as a family. Ethan’s highlight, the place where he behaved the best, was at his horse riding lessons.

Why I Believe Horse Riding Is Important

Ethan struggles with speech. He can’t hold a meaningful conversation with us. The first horse-riding lesson he had his teacher couldn’t believe how chatty he was to his horse. He rides the same horse every lesson and can tell me his horse’s name. He has made a connection with him.

Horse riding also helps with balance, core strength and your own body control. All of these things are a struggle for Ethan. Without knowing it every time Ethan is on a horse he is working on these areas. It is like a natural physical therapy session.

Riding horses also helps with Ethan’s listening and communication skills. They play games whilst on the horses. For example guiding the horses to a chosen colour. Ethan will have to listen to the commands from an instructor and then control the horse to where he needs to go. He does get a lot of support in these lessons but in every lesson progress is being made.

It’s Not Just About The Horse Riding

As the lessons go on the children will progress into learning about the horses care. Children like Ethan can be very self-absorbed. Not in a nasty way it’s just part of whom they are. They will start to learn about how to care for the horses and the equipment the horses need. Horses are expensive and they need a lot of looking after and specialist equipment. The Harry Hall website will give you an example of the equipment that a horse might need.

center parcs pony ride at elveden forest

I really hope we can continue Ethan’s horse riding journey for many years. I would love for Little E to have lessons too but it is just so expensive. Lessons for Ethan can be subsidised which helps reduce the cost but I would hate for us to take Ethan horse riding and Little E to miss out. We would also need to find a stable that can cater for both of their abilities. This in itself isn’t an easy task!

DISCLOSURE – This post is in collaboration with Harry Hall.

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