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Naomi Scott University of North Texas Press PDF


A attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), 7 attention span, 73 autism, 7, 28, 183–87

Ayres, A. Jean, 140

abdominal strength, 134, 136,

161–62 abused youth, 104

Adams, Ronald C., 17 adaptive equipment, 49

Advisory Council on Riding for the Disabled, 18 agility, 11, 70 aging population, 14–15, 127–31

Ainsworth, Gayle, 141 alignment, 64

All Star Equestrian Foundation,

Inc., 90, 91–95, 148

American Competition

Opportunities for Riders with

Disabilities, Inc. (ACORD), 81

American Hippotherapy

Association (AHA), 21–22, 190

American Occupational Therapy

Association, 5, 189

American Physical Therapy

Association, 5, 189 amputees and amputations, 6, 49 aneurysms, 55 anti-casts, 61, 114 anxiety, 7 aquatic therapy, 146, 147

Asberger’s Syndrome, 183, 186 asymmetry, 5

B backriding, 51, 175 balance and carriage driving, 73 and English saddles, 96 and hippotherapy, 5, 62–63,

64 maneuvers to increase, 40 and motion of horse, 11 and private riding programs,

88 of profile subjects, 109–10,

127, 129, 134, 136, 153,

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Chapter 29: Miracles and Research

Naomi Scott University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Miracles and Research

Those who administer equine assisted activities and therapy enthusiastically extol its benefits. Summarizing the results from riding she has observed, Instructor Jessica Whaylen said, “The best part of my job is that I see miracles every day.”1

As previously mentioned, many organizations, concerned with the health and activities of the physically and mentally challenged, recognize the therapeutic qualities of riding. These include the American

Physical Therapy Association, the American Occupational Therapy Association, Easter Seals, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Special Olympics, Spina Bifida Association, and United

Cerebral Palsy.

The modality has made tremendous strides in a short time and is becoming increasingly accepted in the mainstream. Most participants are also regularly attended by various other medical professionals, many of whom report observing favorable results in their patients, which they attribute to riding or handling horses. In some cases this leads to their recommending equine activities for some of their other patients.

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GLOSSARY tion with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, offering competition for mentally and physically challenged riders. The name comes from the term “Top Hand,” an honor bestowed on the best ranch cowboys in the Old West.

Tourette’s Syndrome: A neurobehavioral disorder in which classic symptoms are uncontrollable facial and vocal tics. It affects about one in two thousand people, is three to four times more common in boys, and usually begins before the age of seven.

Transverse Myelites: A neurological disorder caused by spinal inflammation, part of a spectrum of neuroimmunologic diseases of the central nervous system. It can damage or destroy myelin, the fatty substance that insulates nerve fibers, resulting in varying degrees of paralysis.

Vaulting: Therapeutic vaulting is a modification of traditional vaulting.

The basic positions are taught, in an environment where the vaulters can progress at their own speed, while still being part of a group working together.

Vestibular System: The organ of the inner ear, containing several sets of three semicircular ducts at right angles to one another, which helps keep the body balanced. Also involved are the outer ear and the pull of gravity, which play a large roll in sensory integration. Over stimulation can cause motion sickness.

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Chapter 1: Description

Naomi Scott University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter One


A fourteen-year-old with cerebral palsy, frail of limb but stout with courage, grips the surcingle handle tightly. His body sways slightly with each stride of his palomino mount as it is led around a large arena.

Another volunteer and I walk on either side, holding him firmly on the bareback pad, supporting his thighs, offering smiles and praise.

An instructor follows, closely observing and encouraging, “You’re doing great, Brandon. Try to relax. They won’t let you fall.”

Slowly his muscles, taut beneath my fingers, begin to soften. His fear of the unknown turns to excitement and he grins, then laughs out loud, again and again. He is riding a horse for the first time. To him it’s just fun. He doesn’t know it is going to spare him the ordeal of surgery.

A five-year-old autistic boy, who does not speak, and barely communicates, gazes vacantly into space as I lead his horse away from the mounting area. After a couple of laps, the child smiles, leans forward, reaches out, and taps his horse on the neck, his way of saying, “Let’s trot.” We pick up the pace, breeze flicks tousled curls from his forehead, and he laughs, his hand in the air. His instructor has worked for weeks to connect this gesture with trotting, which his smiles and body language show he loves to do.

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GLOSSARY and abdomen. It uses a large magnet to polarize hydrogen atoms in the tissue, then monitors the summation of the spinning energies within living cells.

Multiple Sclerosis: A chronic neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system with intermittent, progressive loss of the nerve sheath, myelin, not affecting peripheral nerves. Onset is usually in the third or fourth decade.

Muscular Dystrophy: A group of diseases characterized by progressive degeneration and/or loss of muscle fibers, without nervous system involvement.

NARHA: North American Riding for the Handicapped Association, P. O.

Box 33150, Denver, CO 80233, 800) 369-RIDE (7433), Fax: (303) 2524610, Email: narha@narha.org, website: http://www.narha.org

Neuromotor function: The brain’s ability to coordinate motor or muscle function.

Neuromusculoskeletal: Refers to objective factors which can be measured or observed such as range of motion, strength, reflexes, etc.; and subjective factors which cannot be measured or observed such as pain and stiffness.

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