The riding school for therapeutic horse riding has opened in Kharkov

The specialized riding school for therapeutic horse riding opened on November 22, on the territory of the ecological park "Feldmаn Eсоpаrk".

The riding school was opened in the framework of the project, which has been in operation for about a year, and is based on ecological park premises and uses non-traditional methods for rehabilitation, in particular, animal-assisted therapy, and landscape therapy; that is the therapy which is based on communication of children and adolescents with animals and nature. This is the unique project in Europe.

The deputy director of the International charitable fund "The Fund of Alexander Feldman" Yulia Pavichenko reported that therapeutic horse riding had been practiced in Ukraine and in the Kharkov before. But the riding school in the ecological park is unique due to the fact that it has been specially designed for this methodology. It will not be used for other needs.

The roofed building was designed according to international standards in the field of animal-assisted therapy.  Beginning on November 22, not less than 8 sessions a day will be held in the riding school. Thus, more than 3,000 people will be able to make use of the new opportunities of the ecological park every year.

Yulia Pavichenko reported that for such a therapy only one horse was used for that moment. The stallion named Mavr was trained to contact with children since June. Prior to this it took 1.5 month to find it, because the horse must meet the requirements of this treatment such as temper and some other characteristics.

The horse riding therapist Stepan Savich told that the lesson lasts for 30 minutes and during that time a child sits on the back of the horse and performs different exercises.

"These are different children; they differ from the rest of the children. If the child begins to respond and to accomplish the tasks, which we give to them, it means that we succeed. The body temperature of a horse is higher than that of a person. Sitting on the back of the horse the child as if becomes one whole with the horse, and the animal's tranquility is transmitted to the child. In addition it gives the psychological effect. Many children, who will ride here, are in wheelchairs, some of them have problems with walking. And sitting on the horse back, they are looking at the world from above. This makes them more confident. This is both the unforgettable experience for the child and a great pleasure for their parents," Stepan Savich stressed. In his words, the therapeutic horse riding is only a part of a complex treatment, but it gives effective results.

The adaptive horse riding or therapeutic horse riding is effective in the treatment of a broad spectrum of diseases, among which are the following: cerebral spastic infantile paralysis, Down's syndrome, neuroses and diseases of locomotor system. The roofed riding school will enable children with special needs to improve their health irrespective of the weather conditions and season of the year.

Yulia Pavichenko reported that two horse riding therapists work in the riding school and the volunteers offering their help. The lessons of the therapeutic horse riding are booked for the next 6 months already.

According to the deputy director of charitable fund, the riding school is open daily from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 15:00 to 17:00. In the nearest future two more horses will be used for the treatment of children.  Then the riding school will work according to the schedule of the ecological park from 10:00 to 17:00.

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