Benefits of Participation

Equine-assisted therapy offers a wide variety of benefits for people living with physical or mental disabilities.

Therapeutic Riding |  2017-18 Participant Feedback

It's more than riding a horse-- it's a bonding process between the riders and the horses, the riders and the other riders, and the riders and the staff. We are family!

Therapeutic Riding Participant

At E.A.S.E. Mental Health Session |  2017-18 Participant Feedback

At E.A.S.E. really helped me with the experience of building trust, love and a true relationship. The horse was my friend and comfort.

At E.A.S.E. Participant

Physical Benefits

A sizable component of physical aging is known to be the cumulative effects of lifestyle choices, and unfortunately, many adults with injury/disability necessarily lead sedentary lives.  Furthermore, the ability to live independently depends largely on a person’s degree of mobility, and sedentary lifestyle contributes to mobility issues.

Mild to Moderate Mobility Disabilities

Therapeutic horseback riding improves the strength, tone, flexibility and reflexes of postural muscles and leg muscles, thereby increasing stability of gait and balance in people with mild to moderate mobility disabilities.

Severe Disabilities

Those with more severe disabilities benefit from improved balance, coordination, and postural control essential to healthy respiratory and digestive function.  Although our At E.A.S.E. clients aren’t mounted, participation in this program increases physical activity levels even for clients in wheelchairs. These physical benefits contribute to the maintenance of independent lifestyles in individuals recovering from injury or living with disability.

Psychological Benefits

Individuals recovering from injury or living with disability need to be engaged in healthy, supportive relationships to help enhance their sense of self-confidence and autonomy, and to cope effectively with the challenges of their circumstances. Equestrian pursuits, by their very nature, are an exercise in cooperation, connection and relationship building. They require the cultivation of mutual trust and respect, patience and compassion, assertiveness and sensitivity, focus and perseverance.  Horses, like people, respond positively in relationships characterized by these elements. As clients practice the use of these skills and qualities in the saddle and on the ground, horses respond in kind, rewarding and reinforcing clients’ development of healthy behaviors and coping mechanisms.  These skills and qualities contribute to clients’ abilities to establish and maintain healthy relationships with family members and friends and helps develop an overall sense of self-confidence and autonomy; all of which enhance the individual’s ability to cope with practically any challenge life offers.

Social Benefits

Many who are recovering from injury or living with disability have limited opportunity for social interaction due to multiple factors including transportation, financial restrictions, and health issues. Decreased levels of social interaction and engagement have been shown to contribute to depression, self-neglect, a sense of loneliness and low self-esteem.  Quantum Leap Farm’s beautiful, natural setting, our gifted staff, and our compassionate volunteers create a space providing both physical and emotional safety. Clients are stimulated and find themselves interacting and engaging with volunteers, instructors, horse-handlers, other clients, and the horses themselves.  Moreover, volunteers and clients vary in ages, from babies to senior citizens, providing enjoyable intergenerational interaction and the opportunity for participants to make new friends and expand their social network.

It is a delight to see the enthusiastic response when someone with special needs mounts high on a horse. The world looks different from that height. Controlling that powerful animal is fulfilling, especially for someone with disabilities.

Bill, Parent of a Participant

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