Horseback Riding for Autism

United States
April 28, 2009 6:08pm CST
I heard this story on the evening news awhile back and wanted to share it, for those who may not have seen it. It is about a young family that found that horseback riding helped their son who had autism. The book is called Horse Boy. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/04/23/eveningnews/main4965041.shtml Has anyone read the book? What are your thoughts about this story? Would you use horse therapy for your child/student with autism? If you have used this therapy what have you noticed? Namaste-Anora
3 people like this
8 responses
@Foxxee (3653)
• United States
1 May 09
I am going to look into this. Never heard about this story or I would of looked into it sooner. I have a 3 year old son who is Autistic, but doesn't really care for animals as of yet, actually, we just can't get him to notice them yet, so I don't know how this would work for him, but it's worth a shot. Thanks for sharing this story... I'm gonna read the book as soon as I can..
2 people like this
• United States
5 May 09
I wish you the best of wishes for you and your son. I hope you can find the book and enjoy it. I really enjoyed the story, and am wanting to read the book as well. Thank you for responding and sharing your story. Namaste-Anora
@lilaclady (28235)
• Australia
28 Apr 09
I have a cousin who has autism and it is a very sad and scary thing, I could believe how horse riding could help these people, i think animals have more uses than we give them credit for i honestly believe animals have a close link to the spirit worls, just look at cats and dogs, dolphins, I think there is something they have that we don't understand...
• United States
5 May 09
Thank you for responding. I agree, animals have their own healing energies, and can do wonders for people. I wish your cousin the best, he's lucky to have a cousin like you who is doing the research, and finding new ways to help. Namaste-Anora
@crazydaisy (3899)
• Canada
5 May 09
I find this is very intersting that you said something about Autism my grandson has it I am very interst in it I was wondering if they have camp for the kids..I live in.Toronto Ontario Canada... I am going look for the book. cd
1 person likes this
• United States
5 May 09
I'm not sure if they have summer camps or not, that would be something wonderful to find out about. I wish you and your grandson the best. Namaste-Anora
• Canada
5 May 09
I will look into about the camps for the kids I would think so but it hard to say I check it out not just day camps I mean the ones for a week or to...just like we had. cd
• United States
3 Aug 09
Hi! My son has autism & my son was invold with horse back riding with his 4 other class mate.He enjoy horse back riding. after fews day ride the horse I notice he more calmer & relax and started talk little more. than he start to sing my son never sang in his life.My son teacher said The school board wouldn't fund money for 5 children go horse back riding.I want to help with fund raise these 5 children with autism could still go horse back riding.I was glad i could help autism children cause they was looking forward going horse back riding.
@oyenkai (4396)
• Philippines
12 May 09
I have not read the book but I believe I have read it featured in Time magazine. I believe the family went to China and even met with Shamans and the boy became instant friends with the other kids even though he was always very reserved and his autism makes it very difficult for him to interact with other kids. I believe that "animal therapy" is generally a good approach. Animals like being touched and that is already one very good and important thing for therapy - being touched has a positive psychological impact on people. That is also why it has been said that hugs are medicines :) Thanks for the response on my discussion!
@murderistic (2278)
• United States
6 May 09
Horseback riding is actually a very popular therapy for people with mental disabilities (beyond autism). I used to volunteer at one in my area and am currently working with a few clients who are or have in the past been involved in horseback riding therapy. Really I think the amount that it can help depends on the individual, autism is a mysterious disability and people with autism all seem to have their own amazing abilities in specific areas.
@dawnald (84078)
• Shingle Springs, California
5 May 09
I have heard about it but I haven't used it. The waiting list in Los Angeles was over a year long and last I heard they didn't have a program close by since we moved. My son is very high functional fortunately. Guitar lessons are on the agenda though.
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
5 May 09
Don't know how on earth I missed this discussion, so sorry getting late to it. Yes, there was a segment of this story on World News Now sometime ago and the far lengths...literally the parents of their autistic boy went to help him, including a trip to Mongolia. I think many animals can have a healing effect to begin with and a great source of getting a special needs child to "get out of their shell" a bit. It was wonderful how the parents discovered the calming and soothing affect placing their son on top of Betsy the horse was. No, unfortunately haven't read the book yet, but hope to in the future