A chronic illness can be truly devastating, especially among children since it has been found to affect their long-term mental health which increases the risk of developing anxiety and depression until adulthood.
A study conducted by researchers from the University of Sussex revealed that the effects of chronic illness are born out of their experiences through conditions such as cancer, arthritis, and asthma, as well as emotional problems they went through.
The researchers recommended that intervention strategies and mental health prevention for those with chronic illnesses are critical in treating these mental health problems before they become full-blown serious cases with life-long deadly consequences.
Horseback riding as a treatment
One of the scientifically-supported strategies that are popular today and are believed to provide significant improvement in therapeutic horseback riding.
Also known as equine-assisted therapy (EAT), a number medical facilities and clinics throughout America offer therapy programs using horses in the treatment process and has been getting a lot of positive feedback and results from patients.
EAT offers a wide range of treatment approaches that are programmed mostly utilizing experiential methods.
For patients- also known as riders- the therapeutic riding programs are designed to target the existing conditions and problems of those with chronic illnesses.
These facilities usually offer a one-week day camp for children with chronic illness and incorporate therapeutic horseback riding as a major component in the treatment process.
The parents of a six-year-old cancer survivor have seen significant improvement in the overall disposition and recovery of their daughter thanks to horse therapy.
“I can tell she listens to words,” the girl said, referring her therapy horse named Missy whom she was assigned to for her therapeutic riding program.
The girl also said that Missy has done something “special” for her recovery, which her parents noted that her therapeutic riding program has been instrumental in ensuring her speedy recovery and improved her attitude towards life.
These horseback riding programs also include a combination of treatments such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, recreational activities, speech, and social skills, to name a few.
Help make medical treatment easy
Another girl diagnosed with rare kidney cancer has also found therapeutic horseback riding as an effective method in helping her deal with the ordeals of medical intervention in treating her condition.
While the medical treatment process seems like a struggle, her interaction with the therapy horse has provided her with the will and determination to endure the process with the promise of being able to look forward to seeing her next riding session with her “horsey best friend.”
Horse therapy has been a very effective way of helping children getting their treatment and intervention for chronic illness in an environment apart from a hospital or medical facility setting, making them more positively happy and ecstatic to interact with their therapy horses.