Riding a horse is a joy that can be open to all with the right training for both horse and rider. Differently-abled people of many ages and skills can enjoy time on horseback, reveling in the sense of freedom found in this joyous sport.
Choosing a horse to ride should be done by someone with both a knowledge of horses and their training. For example, an adult with a partial prosthetic leg may be easily able to mount a horse but struggle to fully grip the animal with their legs. In these cases, a larger horse with thorough bridle training and a lead may be the best option. It will give the rider an easy platform on which to balance and provide the horse with surety and effective guidance.
Hearing Aids and Cochlear Implants
A properly kitted-out rider will be wearing a helmet, particularly when sitting astride a new-to-them horse. In this case, behind-the-ear hearing aids may cause some trouble. Consider getting a hearing-aid sleeve to keep your hearing aid close to your head, or use hearing aid clips to connect your hearing aids to your clothes if they do fall out. In most cases, however, your horseback ride should not be bouncy enough to cause your hearing aids to fall out. There are several different types of hearing aids, but all are safe to wear during most physical activities, including horseback riding.
Prosthetic limbs and spinal challenges can make it extremely hard to mount a horse. If your horse is uncertain or uncomfortable with your motion as you try to mount, you may find yourself in a dangerous situation very quickly. When mounting your horse, make certain that you have help. Someone will need to hold the horse’s head to keep it steady and still. You may need a boost, such as from a mounting block or steadying hand, at the saddle. Finally, access to a custom saddle may be necessary to keep you secure.
Older horses that are properly trained can be the best option for people who need assistance in riding. However, even horses struggle with some of the challenges associated with age. They don’t like surprises and may react badly to loud noises. Do your best to respect the natural tendencies of the horse to stay safe.
Horseback riding is one of the most freeing experiences anyone can have, and there are several ranch owners working hard to make it happen for riders of all abilities. With the right gear, a well-trained horse, and some patience, nearly everyone can enjoy this sport.
Are you looking to start riding horses? Double Diamond Hill Ranch offers riding lessons, training, and more to help.