Therapeutic Horse Riding: What has this to do with Occupational Therapists?

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The horse has been used as a therapeutic medium since the time of the ancient Greeks and Xenophon is quoted as saying that 'the best thing for the inside of a man is the outside of the horse' (Longden 1998, p44). Man has been using horses for more than 3,500 years as draught horses or for riding; therefore, the man-horse relationship may be perceived 'as a close psychophysical attachment' (Schulz 1997, p65). The horse and its environment has been and continues to be used as a therapeutic tool for people with a wide range of needs and abilities, as is evidenced in the literature.

This paper identifies some of the benefits and limitations of therapeutic horse riding and its relationship with occupational therapy, through a review of the literature and the use of case summaries from the author's personal experience.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2000

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at

    Submissions can be made at

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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