How To Train A Horse For Therapeutic Riding

How To Train A Horse For Therapeutic Riding


Therapeutic riding is an amazing way to help children or adults with special needs. The benefits of this type of therapy are endless and can include improved balance, posture, coordination, muscle tone and self-esteem. Teaching a horse to be used for therapeutic riding can be accomplished by most anyone with the right knowledge and skills. Here is how to train a horse for therapeutic riding:

Teach The Horse To Lead.

As the handler, you will be leading your horse through all of its training. You must be confident and assertive, and remember that you are in control of this animal. Make sure to have a good grip on both the lead rope and the halter; if you lack confidence or feel uneasy about leading your horse, consider seeking outside assistance from another person for this phase of the training process.

Teach The Horse To Back Up.

The next step is to teach the horse to back up, which will be required when you eventually mount it. You can use a combination of methods to teach your horse how to back up. The first method involves leading the horse backwards while holding onto the lead rope. To do this, you need someone else who is strong enough and tall enough (or has some type of step ladder) so that they can hold onto both ends of the lead rope while standing on a box or chair at least 6 inches off the ground; if that’s not possible, then have them sit on a chair or something else with four legs for support and hold onto both ends of the rope as well as possible without losing their balance. The person who will be leading should walk away from their helper until they feel comfortable with how far away from them he/she wants him/herself standing; then tell him/her where that spot should be established before taking over yourself once again!

Another way involves pulling on one end of his harness while pushing against his hindquarters with another hand simultaneously until he gets used to having pressure applied in different directions simultaneously during each session (start out slowly). This method works better than leading backwards because it allows him more freedom than just walking away from us would give us.”

Teach The Horse To Stand Still.

Before you can begin to train your horse to be ridden by a disabled rider, he or she must first learn how to stand still when asked. Begin by using a halter and lead rope. With the loop of the lead rope in your right hand, hold the halter in your left hand. Stand facing the back end of your horse (the tail). Walk up to him slowly until he’s comfortable with you being so close; then stop and let him get used to that as well before proceeding further.

Once he seems comfortable with this arrangement, gently tug on both ends of his lead rope simultaneously until he lowers his head slightly and leans forward toward you slightly—this may take some practice at first before he figures out what you’re trying to do here! Once he does so successfully (i.e., once he’s standing perfectly still), give him plenty of praise while rewarding him with treats from time-to-time throughout training sessions like this one—this will help reinforce good behavior patterns over bad ones as well as ensure progress continues along steadily every single day without any setbacks whatsoever!

Teach The Horse To Stop.

Teach the horse to stop by pulling on the reins. Make sure the horse is facing in the direction you want it to go and not moving. If it is, stop it first, then start again.

Teach The Horse To Turn.

  • Teach the horse to turn.
  • The horse should be taught to turn in both directions.
  • A good start is teaching him or her to turn on the forehand and the hindquarters in a circle with the handler standing behind the horse’s shoulder, keeping a light contact.
  • Once he learns this basic step, you can begin asking him to stay at an angle while turning, so that his shoulders are facing your body instead of running parallel with it as they do when traveling forward at an angle from left side of your horse’s body toward right side of your own.


Teach The Horse To Buddy-up With Other Horses.

Teaching your horse to buddy-up with other horses is an essential part of the training process, especially if you plan on riding with friends or family. Horses love to play and socialize, so teaching him this skill will not only make it easier for you to ride with others but also help him develop better social skills in general.

Use a target that the horse can easily see and follow, such as a rope or even just another horse’s tail. When starting out, choose an easy target (like the leader) rather than one that is farther away or more difficult to track visually (for example, another person riding alongside). You can also try incorporating short distances between horses by having them take turns following each other instead of always having your friend lead you around on a long rein while he follows behind her horse.

Once he has mastered following his own leader’s movements closely enough so they stay together while moving at different speeds and directions through space without becoming tangled around each other’s legs (which happened often when I first started), then move onto step two: teaching him how to follow another animal’s movements closely enough so they stay together without becoming tangled around each other’s legs but still allowing some distance between them at all times so neither gets too close for comfort!

And Finally, Teach The Horse To WALK!

And finally, teach the horse to WALK!

You should always start with a slow pace and then work your way up until you can go at a brisk walk. The slower the pace, the less stress on both horse and rider (which means less chance of injury). Once you get to this point, it’s time for some straight line work. You will want to practice walking in both directions so that your student knows how to travel in either direction and if necessary change course quickly when riding. You’ll also want them comfortable with walking around obstacles—this is an important element during trail rides or when encountering other horses while out on a trail ride. Remember that safety comes first so make sure they’re comfortable navigating around things like trees or fences as well as people who may be in their path while learning how not just trotting but also walking at different speeds will help give them more control over their steed

A horse with this training can now begin working with special needs riders!

The horse is now ready to begin working with special needs riders. It has been trained to be safe and comfortable with all kinds of riders. This can help the horse’s confidence, since it will no longer be concerned about its rider’s ability or fitness level.


Therapeutic riding is one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself and for those around you. Horses are used to help teach students many different things, from teaching them how to walk again or even just something as simple as getting through their day without a panic attack. This can give them confidence needed when dealing with other people (as well as animals) in general situations outside of therapy sessions too.

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