The benefits of horseback riding for individuals with disabilities have been recognized for over 3,000 years. Therapeutic riding has been widely used since the early 1950s as a tool for improving the lives of people with disabilities. People with almost any physical and/or emotional disability can benefit from therapeutic riding, driving, vaulting, competition or other purposeful, safe and supervised interaction with horses. JNF is raising funds for many of the riding centers in Israel, providing scholarships for children from all nationalities and walks of life.
You can help! For your Mitzvah Project you can help JNF support therapeutic riding programs throughout Israel for people with emotional and physical disabilities.
Individuals with the following disabilities commonly participate and benefit from equine-facilitated therapy and activities:
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Cerebral Palsy
- Visual Impairment
- Down Syndrome
- Brain Injuries
- Developmental Disabilities
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Spina Bifida
- Emotional Disabilities
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Learning Disabilities
- Attention Deficit Disorder
- Hearing Impairment
- Cerebral Vascular Accidents (CVA)
How Therapeutic Riding Therapy Works:
Because horseback riding gently and rhythmically moves the rider's body similarly to the way human beings walk, riders with physical disabilities often show improvement in speaking, flexibility, balance, muscle tone, strength, posture, coordination, motor development and emotional well being. For individuals with mental or emotional disabilities, the unique relationship formed with the horse can lead to increased confidence, patience and self-esteem. The sense of independence and acceptance found through these activities with the horse benefits all.
Many participants spend their days confined to a wheelchair or walker and have to deal with their minds and bodies telling them they can’t do something. But on the back of a horse, they often discover that they can achieve the very things they thought were impossible. There’s a bond that develops between riders, horses and volunteers: a bond of love, caring and trust. And there are miracles like the little girl who had never uttered a word, yet began speaking to her horse, or the little boy who had never been able to support his own weight, and is now learning to walk on his own.
A Sampling of Therapeutic Riding Centers in Israel supported by JNF:
- Therapeutic Riding Center of Israel (TRCI)
- Israel National Therapeutic Riding Association (INTRA)
- Guy Moshav Sgula
- Ranch in the Moshava
- Sadot Shebaemek Moshav Merchavia
- Geva Stables
- Shedemot Faran
- Ashquelon Municipal Farm
- Nachshonim Kibbutz
- The Shepherd Ranch
- Noam Farms
You can make a donation or raise money through a personal webpage to help support therapeutic riding programs. Personal pages are easy to create.
Customize your page by choosing from pre-written text about the project and then adding your own thoughts and feelings. You can even add photos to your page!
Use the Participant Center to send emails to your family and friends telling them why you’re raising money for this project.