Therapy Horse Professional

by M.M.
(Texas)

The coolest job for me would be handling therapy horses for young children that have mental or emotional disorders.

Ever since I was young, I have loved horses and was fortunate to be able to ride as a youngster. There is just something so special about a horse and the relationship that one con develop. You put that together with a young child with a disorder and amazing things happen.

Children with autism, asperger's and attention deficit disorder usually struggle to communicate. However, if you put them with horses, we have found that they can achieve so much. The rhythmic motion of riding a horse causes the kids to focus on the movement - which is slow, deliberate and relaxing. Children indirectly learns how to focus better, which is aided by the calming effect of riding.

At some ranches, they let the horse pick the child and that method has produced amazing results. When an assistant leads a child to a horse, the staff looks to see if the horse dips his head or nuzzles the child. This indicates that a bond is being formed and the child has been "chosen".

Can you imagine seeing the child evolve a more open relationship with the animal first and then with people.

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