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Development of a Training Programme for Therapeutic Riding Coaching Research Project

Research Project Abstract – Development of a Training Programme for Therapeutic Riding Coaching

The development of therapeutic riding has been followed by the development of a variety of training programmes equipping people with the skills, knowledge and experience necessary for the delivery of therapeutic riding for people with disabilities. Training programmes can be either for side walkers and/or leaders and/or facilitators of the therapeutic riding session themselves.

In an Irish context, the provision of therapeutic riding has traditionally been provided by the Riding for the Disabled Association Ireland. That said, in recent years there has been an increase in the number of people with a disability who wish to participate in therapeutic riding, a growing awareness on the behalf of parents and health professionals of the value of therapeutic riding and a growing interest on the part of equestrian coaches in providing these sessions. However, in an Irish context there is no training available to people wishing to act as therapeutic riding coaches unless the training is availed of by the RDAI within its own particular framework of the provision of therapeutic riding.

Festina Lente provides over 70 equine mounted activities to people with disabilities every week and is unable to respond to the high number of people on its waiting list. With this situation unlikely to change, Festina Lente decided to develop and deliver a training programme which would allow people to work as Therapeutic Riding Coaches. An application was made to the LEADER programme to design and pilot a Training Programme which will be run between September 2011 and July 2012 with 12 participants.

This presentation will give an overview of the content the training programme which includes the following modules:
• Learning – How Humans Learn
• Learning – How Horses Learn
• Human Anatomy
• Disability
• Therapeutic Riding
• The Therapeutic Riding Horse
• Personnel
• Administration
• The Therapeutic Riding Session : Design
• The Therapeutic Riding Session : Teaching

It will also include the evaluation of the programme modules as they will be delivered up to April 2012. The presentation will also include a review of therapeutic riding training programmes available across different countries with a synopsis of what is available within each country for people wishing to train as therapeutic riding coaches.