— The Benefits of Horse Riding Therapy

The therapeutic value of horse riding was described by Hippocrates as:

” The Riding's Healing Rhythm".

What We Do:
As explained in the article “The Horses Healing Rhythm” the horses movement stimulates the
vestibular system of the rider resulting in effective sensory integration. Sensory integration in itself already stimulates and improves many aspects of a child's development.

  • Improvement of muscle tone and strength.
  • General balance improves.
  • Eye-muscles improve - influence on reading.
  • Increased joint mobility and range of movement.
  • Tactile system is stimulated.
  • Increased spatial and body awareness.

  • Increased attention-span and concentration.
  • Hyperactive children tend to calm down.
  • Emotional/behavioral problems improve.
  • Development of self-confidence and motivation.
  • School performance can improve.
  • Development of the ability to organize and perform tasks in sequence (praxis).
  • Integration of the two hemispheres of the brain.
  • Sensory integration takes place.

Who can benefit from
Horse riding therapy?

Adults and children can benefit, as the fun activities improves the brains ability to receive information, process it and provide the desired action being taken.

Learning problems

- Struggle to copy from blackboard,
- Lack of concentration.
- Swap letters and  numbers.
- Reading and spelling problems.

Muscle tone- the normal state of tension of muscles in the body while in a relaxed state.

High muscle tone (hypertonia)- found in cerebral damage patients results in tightly contracted  muscles. Low muscle tone (hypotonia)- Found in patients with learning disabilities, sloppy posture, tire  easily, fidget a lot. 

The therapy works on muscle tones by correcting posture, the position on the horse also helps to correct it, is trunk rotation and strengthening exercises.

Bilateral integration- the ability to co-ordinate the use both limbs simultaneously.

- Not wanting to hold a book while writing, 
- Struggles with crossing the midline,  
- Struggles to eat with knife and fork.

The therapy includes activities with both hands, clapping hands, playing with shaving cream in a plate  with both hands, crossing of the midline activities.

Balance and reflexes

The ability to adjust the body when it's position changes or environment changes.

Eye muscle co-ordination and fine motor skills

Therapy improves following an object with their eyes, shift focus to near and far and work on 
peripheral. Hand eye co-ordination is used to perform any action ( throwing a ball), fine motor skills are used for precise movements(colouring  inside the lines).

Speech problems

One canal of the vestibular apparatus is for speech, thus stimulation by horse riding improves speech.


 The ability to formulate an idea and effectively execute it. Motor and oral planning.
-Ideation (Right brain), -Logic (Left brain), - Doing (Right and Left brain)

Therapy includes repetitive activities that require motor planning. This improves rhythm, repetition, judgement, work speed and scratching.

Hemispherical integration- the ability of both sides of the brain to function effectively.

Learning styles: Visual (right brain), Audio (left brain), Movement (both), Functional dominance- the preferred dominant hand, Genetic dominance- inherited dominance.

— New Students !

Here are a few tips for your first class:

  • The riding level of all begining students would be evaluated. first time riders whould start with Level 1 or Basics classes.
  • Unless otherwise noted, all of the classes on our regular class schedule are on-going. That means there is no need to pre-register.
  • Bring a water bottle and small hand towel.
  • Come 5-15 minutes early for your lessons, so you can take your time to settle in.
  • Wear comfortable clothes such as sweats, leggings, t-shirts, tank tops and shoes.
  • Please tell the instructor about any ongoing injuries.
Be sure to email us with any questions or news at  lisa@stepitup.co.za

Step It Up Horse Riding Therapy

Mobile: 076 894 0160
Email Address: lisa@stepitup.co.za

6 Baard Road, Sunderland Ridge, Pretoria.

Find your Inner Rider!

Bring the whole family!