Therapeutic or “Adaptive” Riding
Therapeutic or adaptive riding is a non-therapy skills-based service in which specially trained instructors teach horseback riding and horsemanship skills to students with disabilities or special needs. The purpose of therapeutic or adaptive riding is recreational and skills-based. It is not a form of therapy and thus should not it be used to treat physical or mental health conditions.
Equine-assisted learning (EAL) is a non-therapy skills-based service that focuses on teaching life skills, social skills, communication skills, or leadership skills while facilitating personal growth and increased self-awareness through both mounted and non-mounted interactions with horses. Services are provided by educators, riding instructors, or life/professional development coaches. EAL providers may teach horsemanship skills, and even use riding and other mounted activities as a means to foster skills. Providers practice using a variety of approaches or theoretical beliefs. The terms “equine-facilitated learning”, “equine-facilitated experiential learning”, “equine experiential education”, “equine-guided education”, or “equine-assisted coaching” are commonly used to describe this service.