This study evaluated the effects of equine assisted activities (EAA) and therapeutic horseback riding on social functioning in children with autism. The hypothesis was that participants would demonstrate significant improvement in social functioning following a 12-weeks horseback riding intervention. Autistic children exposed to therapeutic horseback riding exhibited greater sensory seeking, sensory sensitivity, social motivation, and less inattention, distractibility, and sedentary behaviors. The results provide evidence that therapeutic horseback riding may be a viable therapeutic option in treating children with autism spectrum disorders.

Our results indicate that EAA services are a beneficial intervention for this population.”

Margaret M. Bass, Ph.D. –┬áCatherine A. Duchowny –┬áMaria M. Llabre, Ph.D.

Read the entire study here.