Date of Award
Bernadette Kroon PT, DPT, GCS, CEEAA
This project explores the available quantitative and qualitative research to see if there is a link between therapeutic horseback riding and the reduction in symptoms of depression in older adults. Currently, there is a gap in evidence based research surrounding older populations with depression and therapeutic riding. However, research gathered on adolescents and adults suggest that therapeutic riding may alleviate depressive symptoms in persons over 65 years of age. Studies included in this project reveal groups of themes. The first is assessments, tools and evaluations. The second is animal assisted therapy, equine assisted therapy, therapeutic riding, and the barn environment. Third is psychological health, anxiety, and depression. The themes that emerged from the search of available evidence supports the use of therapeutic riding as an intervention for older adults experiencing depression. In addition, some research found that equine-facilitated modalities have positively influenced self-confidence, self-esteem, self-concept, and overall well-being in various populations.
Pattison, Alyssa and Ashford, Craig, "Therapeutic Riding and Psychological Health in Older Adults" (2018). Thinking Matters Symposium. 132.