HORSEBACK RIDING IS THERAPEUTIC & IMPROVES BODY PERCEPTION

Horseback riding stimulates the whole body and is therefore an excellent approach to improve the condition of people with neurological diseases, be they mentally or physically handicapped. It enhances physical, emotional, social, cognitive, behavioral >>

>> and educational skills for those with disabilities. Riding also improves our body perception as healthy individuals. And by the way, who has not got some kind of decent handicap or imbalances in their bodies when moving?

It's not that I want to indicate that our BIESTMILCH athletes are handicapped in any way. But I thought that horseback riding would be an enjoyable whole-body experience for all of us. And especially for our triathlete who raced the world championships only two days ago >>

>> it might be a welcome change for body and mind. No doubt, this was definitely the case, even though the weather conditions turned the whole enterprise into a completely different experience than expected.

THE INTERACTION WITH THE HORSE IS AS ESSENTIAL AS THE RIDING ITSELF 

The therapy of riding does not only focus on learning the skills of riding. For the therapeutic success it is as important to develop a relationship between the horse and its rider.

It is the work in the team that gives the person with disability and often with low self-esteem a better feeling for her- or himself. An experienced instructor guides everybody through the process.

I have to confirm we all made this experience. It was a great venture for each individual and it changed the relations among us as well.

Our Hawaiian instructor was outstanding with his modern attitude. But in same time he was deeply rooted in his own culture.

HORSES PROVIDE A UNIQUE NEUROMUSCULAR STIMULATION

The horses' way of moving is similar to the rhythm of the human movement of walking. While riding the horses stride moves the rider's pelvis in the same rotation and side-to-side movement that occurs when walking. The horses can adapt their gait as initiated by the rider.

Like this the speed in which the motion of our pelvis is promoting strength, balance, coordination, flexibility and confidence is constantly adjusted. Horses can also help to improve the patient's state by being a companion to care for. Brushing, bathing, and currying add an additional range of movements and have a relaxing and calming effect.

I have to admit that the cold weather made us look rather stiff on the horses. Also our moods where shaken by the extreme situation. Especially guys like Sebastian suffered a lot as he was really depleted after his winning and celebrating the race.

At the end of the day it was amazing that we didn't get off the horses deep-frozen in our T-shirts and fairly thin jackets.

Looking back for all of us the adventure will never be forgotten and it united us in certain way.

You may ask yourself: "What the heck, has all this to do with BIESTMILCH?"

Biestmilch is in the same way as horseback riding a whole-body therapy. It stimulates, balances and calms down depending on the condition you find yourself in.

HISTORICAL REMARK

Horses have been utilized as a therapeutic aid since the ancient Greeks. They used them for those people who had incurable illnesses.

The benefits of therapeutic riding have been dated back to the 17th century where the first traces are found in the literature. It is documented that it was prescribed for gout, neurological disorder and low morale.

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