Therapeutic horse riding:The Beliefs, Values and Experiences of Those who Help the Disabled on a Non-profit Basis
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This project explores the techniques and effects of therapeutic horseback riding for the disabled as well as the social interests and values of the instructors and volunteers who provide this therapy on a non-profit basis. Through firsthand interviews with clients and their caregivers as well as research from journal articles, this project concludes that therapeutic horse riding has various emotional, physical and mental benefits on a wide range of disabilities. The Holland Codes for most of the volunteers and therapists reveal that their job satisfaction is related to the fact that their personality types match their career types. The therapy, social work and psychology aspects of their jobs are compatible with their Social, Artistic and Investigative natures. The Social Interest Scale reveals that their levels of empathy for others and interest in helping them is above the norm. Research was conducted at Strides, Therapeutic Horseback Riding Center, 9001 Wilbur Avenue, Northridge, CA. In addition to the paper, a major component of this project is a documentary film made to demonstrate and explore the therapy, the center and the people involved.