Equine-assisted therapy for children with neurodisability
Published May 2014
Download the full evidence summary PDF: Therapy with Horses (Equine-Assisted Therapies)
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What were we asked?
Two questions were received about equine-assisted therapies. One asked about the general evidence base for this type of therapy for children with disabilities, and the other question asked more specifically about the effectiveness of equine-assisted therapy for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
There is limited evidence that equine-assisted therapies may produce short-term improvements in mobility, postural control and balance for some children with cerebral palsy.
There is little evidence that equine-assisted therapy is effective for other conditions such as ADHD and ASD.
More rigorous research is needed to clarify which children are likely to benefit from equine-assisted therapy, what ‘benefits’ are expected, and the optimum frequency and duration of therapy.
However, horse riding is an activity that many children enjoy and helps to keep them fit.