Teamwork and Social Skills
Benefits of Riding
Community, Sportsmanship and Citizenship
In this day and age it seems pretty common that a lot of people spend a lot of time in a seemingly isolated electronic world. A world filled with TV, or videos or on-screen games. If you're looking for an alternative to all of that, the equine community might be a pretty fair place to start.
It doesn't get much more "real" than riding a horse, assisting with tack, listening to an instructor, interacting with volunteers, helping to care for a horse, or working in a setting where a half-dozen other riders are all doing the same sorts of things.
How Equine-assisted Therapy Programs Can Help
Structured riding programs have been shown to foster the following in riders of all skill levels and abilities:
- Improved listening skills
- Increased attention span
- Improved cooperation
- Better conflict resolution
- Greater levels of empathy and encouragement
- Increased patience
- More respect for self, others and animals
- Improved interpersonal skills
Improved interpersonal skills
Examples of Riding-generated Stimulus and Response
Every Bright Horizons lesson involves a significant level of teamwork and frequent opportunities to practice social skills. For some riders the team might consist of just themselves, their horse, and an instructor. For others, the team might include a horse leader as well as one or two sidewalkers. And in our group lessons that team expands to include the leaders, sidewalkers, and horses associated with other riders as well.
Each and every person (and horse too) that shares the arena or a trail ride with a Bright Horizons student represents an opportunity to further expand a rider's ability to appropriately interact and engage with others. It could be as simple as learning how to safely approach a horse without startling them. Or it might be as complex as learning to side-step in unison.
Whatever the event, a common theme of every lesson is to provide each and every rider with the chance to develop their sense of teamwork and awareness of others. Whether that be with their horse, their instructor, their volunteers, their fellow riders, or a combination of all of these... developing a sense of teamwork and social skills are part of everything we do.
Improved listening skills, attention span, cooperation....
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