Guide Exercises For Therapeutic Riding

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Recently a coworker lent me her master's project from a few years ago, a binder full of Therapeutic Riding Exercises and Activities and Equine.
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Effects of horseback riding exercise therapy on hormone levels in elderly persons

This study was conducted on 20 elderly persons who each gave written informed consent for participation in the study. Subjects were divided into two groups: Tests were performed on all subjects for 15 minutes, 3 times, over 8 weeks. Post-exercise tests were implemented in both groups after 8 weeks in the same way as pre-study tests. The study compared the horseback riding exercise group age Jeju horses, which are used to give riding experiences to visitors at Rehabilitation Center-affiliated horse-riding course, were used for this study.

These horses are healthy, well-accustomed to surrounding environments, well-trained for a long time, and tame. They also have even strides. Study subjects wore safety helmets, vests, and boots. Hormone analysis was implemented by Clinical Laboratory, analyzing the concentrations of serotonin and cortisol. Serum serotonin analysis was conducted by high-performance liquid chromatography, and serum cortisol analysis was performed using chemiluminescent immunoassay.

Pre-intervention and post-intervention data were examined using the paired t-test within each group of subjects and the independent t-test between the groups. The control group displayed increases in serotonin and cortisol levels between pre- and post-exercise tests, but the difference was not significant. A precedent psychological research study on horseback riding exercise revealed that it decreased depression in teenagers with emotional disorders 5.

In another study, 51 children with attention deficit disorder and severe emotional disturbances participated in horseback riding exercises for 18 months, and their behavioral deficits and depression improved 6. Additionally, horseback riding exercise was reported to influence behavioral and emotional changes in children with autism 7.

The exercise has also been reported to be helpful for the relief of symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder when compared with other existing animal-assisted therapies 8. For this reason, horseback riding exercise is being reviewed not only for its physical effects, but also for its social and mental effects.

Therapeutic Riding

We conducted a research study of older adults to evaluate their hormone levels and brain waves in relation to horseback riding exercises. This is consistent with the results of a previous study that showed that serotonin levels in a group of individuals with mental disorders increased during 12 weeks of horseback riding exercises 9. Changes in serotonin levels can differ depending on various environmental conditions, exercise level of the subject, and intensity and type of exercise.

The frontal lobe controls exercise, language, intelligence, reasoning and emotion; and serotonin, through its effects on the frontal lobe, can facilitate sympathy and communication. The exact mechanism for the effect of aerobic exercise on serotonin is unknown, but it is arguable that exercise can upgrade the serotonin level, thus affecting feeling, sleep, and arousal Cortisol levels can vary depending on exercise intensity and study conditions 11 ; exercise of low or moderate intensity over a short time span showed either no difference or a decrease in the cortisol level, whereas short-time high-density exercise showed a decrease in the cortisol level 12 , As the intensity and amount of exercise increase, the cortisol concentration in blood is thought to change.

National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. J Phys Ther Sci. Published online Jul Received Jan 30; Accepted Apr This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of riding exercise on hormone levels in normal elderly people who were taught horseback riding for 8 weeks. Hormone, Exercise therapy, Horseback riding. Open in a separate window. All participants or their guardians provided informed consent prior to participation.

Before the start of the study, the purpose and methods were explained in detail to the participants. The participants were divided into 2 groups: The horseback riding training was performed before the main horseback riding intervention. Riding was performed for 15 minutes, 3 times per week for 8 weeks.

The post-exercise tests were performed over a period of 8 weeks in the same manner as pre-study tests. We investigated the background EEGs, specifically the relative alpha power index, in both groups. For the exercise, we used Jeju horses from the I rehabilitation center-affiliated horse riding course; these horses are normally used to provide riding experiences to visitors and are therefore healthy, accustomed to their surrounding environment, well trained, tame, and have stable strides. All participants wore protective gear including safety helmets, vests, and boots.

At the beginning of the tests, the participants were led to perform warm-up exercises. In the exercise, an instructor led a horse by the bridle while another assistant supported a participant by holding him or her by the leg prevent them from falling from the horse and provide assistance as needed. Quantitative electroencephalography can be used to diagnose neurological changes in the brain; it constitutes an electric signal due to an active change in the brain that can capture the electrical flow between neurons through electrodes attached to the surface of the head 8.

The EEG electrodes were attached to the surface of the head of the participants as they were seated in a comfortable reclining chair. To reliably capture data, the same researcher attached the electrodes and operated the testing instruments.

Body and head movements were controlled as much as possible, and the participant kept their eyes closed for 3 minutes while resting in order to minimize the interruption of waves caused by eye movement. The participant was required to stop chewing and talking during EEG measurements.


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The EEG signals were analyzed for 60— seconds, excluding the first and last 60 seconds when the test might have been influenced by external environments. The saved data were transformed into frequencies using a fast Fourier transform, which expresses the quantitative relationship between EEG frequencies and their intensity. Power spectrum analysis was subsequently applied, and the band-to-band power was calculated. The pre- and post-intervention data were compared within each group and between groups by using paired t-tests independent t-tests, respectively.


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After the horseback riding program, the relative slower alpha power was analyzed; it appeared to be active in the T3 and P4 domains but was suppressed in the Fp1, Fp2, F3, F4, T4, and P3 domains Table 2. Moreover, after the horseback riding program, the relative faster alpha power appeared to be active in all domains of the horseback riding exercise group but suppressed in all domains of the control group Table 3. During acute graded maximal exercise, the alpha wave power is reportedly decreased in the frontal and temporal lobes 8 , 9.

Annie’s Warm Ups and Exercises

Alpha wave power is an index of stable emotional status or mental health; in this regard, alpha wave power appears to be more closely associated with mental stress than exercise intensity, which is physically recognized. The present study evaluated the changes in background EEG, specifically alpha wave power, which indicates stability and relaxation 10 , The relative slow alpha power was analyzed before and after the horseback riding exercise program; the results show it increased equally in all brain wave domains in the control group. In the horseback riding exercise group, the relative slow alpha power was active in the T3 and P4 domains but suppressed in the Fp1, Fp2, F3, F4, T4, and P3 domains.

After the horseback riding exercise program, the relative fast alpha power was increased in all domains of the horseback riding exercise group. However, it was suppressed in all domains of the control group. The F3 domain differed significantly between the horseback riding exercise and control groups. Horseback riding exercise is considered to enhance concentration and comfort by activating the brain waves in all domains. The relative alpha power by the motor learning process is reported to increase in the Fz, Cz, Oz, C3, C4, T3, and T4 domains during learning through exercise imagination but is decreased in those observing and performing behaviors 12 , After the learning process, the relative alpha power differs significantly in participants who observe and actually perform behaviors compared to those who perform exercise imagination in the Pz, Oz, C4, T3, and T4 domains, indicating the brain activation level is higher during exercise learning through behavior observation and actual performance than imagination exercise learning.

In the present study, there were small differences in the attachment points of the 8 brain wave channels, background EEG, and evoked EEG.

Effects of horseback riding exercise therapy on background electroencephalograms of elderly people

However, the results corroborate the notion that learning through exercises helps increase the relative alpha power. The main limitation of this study is its lack of generalizability owing to the relatively small sample as well as the fact that the daily life habits aside from the horseback riding exercise program were known only through personal interviews. Therefore, individual life habits may have affected the results. Accordingly, further studies with more subjects and better evaluation methods are required to confirm the results.

Moreover, further studies should investigate the psychological, cognitive, and physical changes as a result of horseback riding. Finally, comparative studies involving different age groups and patients suffering from differing diseases and conditions should be performed. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U.

J Phys Ther Sci.