Several methods have been developed over the years that employ animals as adjuncts in psychotherapeutic interventions; therapeutic horseback riding is one such example. The purpose of this exploratory study was to assess the outcome of a 12-week therapeutic horseback riding program for persons with physical disabilities. Twenty-two adults with a variety of physical impairments were participants in a therapeutic horseback riding program. A one group pre-test/post-test design was used to evaluate changes in levels of physical and global self-efficacy. Behavioral indices of self-confidence also were collected over the course of the intervention on 18 of the 22 participants. Physical self-efficacy and behavioral self-confidence were found to increase from pre-test to post-test while global self-efficacy did not change over time. Findings from this exploratory study provide evidence in support of the psychological value of this type of intervention for adults with physical impairments.
Author Sarah Farias-Tomaszewski, Sharon Rae Jenkins, Jean Keller
Volume Vol 35, No 3 (2001)