“Cody has Classic Autism and is non-verbal. He has a hard time sitting still for most activities, but with horseback riding, there is such an amazing calmness that the horse gives to Cody that he has no problem attending the horse lesson. Actually, he looks forward to it. I only have to show him the riding helmet and tell him “time for horses” and he is out the door before anyone else. The riding gives Cody a calmness that we cannot achieve with anything else. After lessons he is completely calm and has an amazing night, often sleeping better than most nights.
Cody was a toe walker, as most kids with Autism are, and riding has helped him to walk flat footed. Cody also has very tight leg muscles and we find that the riding has relaxed his muscles, which also may have contributed to the flat footed walking. Cody is so focused when riding horses. He pays attention to the horse and to his helpers. His receptive language skills are so in tune when riding. The assistant can ask Cody to be “up in the saddle” and Cody doesn’t miss a beat.
We have also noticed a benefit in his digestion since he started riding again. A big plus for him! There are probably a ton of other things, but he just loves it. We’ve participated in group activities before (baseball, soccer, etc.) and they prove to be so overwhelming for him. Riding horses is Cody’s sport of choice. Something he loves doing and is beneficial for him. It’s a piece to his “puzzle.”