Briefly in English

Finnish riding therapy

Riding therapy is a holistic individual rehabilitation approach carried out by the therapist and the horse as a team. Depending on the occupational basic training of the riding therapist the therapeutic goals can be focused into the rider’s motor, educational or emotional needs.

Riding therapy is individual, systematic and goal oriented rehabilitation. The trainened therapist needs to have the sensitivity and professional skills to observe and guide the interaction between the human and the horse in such a way that it helps the client to obtain the set goals.

Riding therapy is usually integrated into the client’s comprehensive rehabilitation plan.

Horse in therapy

An essential element in riding therapy is the movement of the horse. The horse’s movement affects  through the rider’s sensory and motor systems as well as the sense of balance. The three-dimensional  movements of the horse’s back  produces a motor stimulation that resembles human walk. By touching the horse the client gets a lot of sensomotor practice in form of different sensations. The horse reacts to the emotional state of the client. The interaction with the horse gives him positive psychomotor experiences. In riding therapy the client is s in a continuous  motor and emotional  interaction with the horse  and it’s environment with his whole body, mind and emotional self. This interaction is facilitated by the riding therapist.

Kuva: Vesa Tyni

Photo: Vesa Tyni

The education of riding therapists in Finland

A training program for riding therapists was started in Finland in the year 1988. The training is completed  in three years. The entrance requirements to the training are a college degree in a health care profession, pedagogy or social sciences and at least two years work experience in the field of rehabilitation after graduation. Good horsemanship and riding skills  are also required. The training is carried out by the Equine College of Ypäjä in cooperation with the Finnish Association of Equine Facilitated Therapies.

The Finnish Association of Equine Facilitated Therapies

The Finnish Association of Equine Facilitated Therapies (registered association) was founded in the year 2000. It’s purpose is to attend to the interests of riding therapists in Finland. It serves as a link between it’s members, attends to their interests and the interests of the field of riding therapy in general. Our aim is also to help the members to continually improve their professional skills and knowledge and also to improve the general preconditions of riding therapy. The association supervises the quality and practice of riding therapy in Finland. We have also created an active national and international cooperation with other organizations that share related interests. The Finnish Association of Equine Facilitated Therapies is a full member of the FRDI since the year 2002.