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"When He's Up There He's Just Happy and Content": Parents' Perceptions of Therapeutic Horseback Riding

By Lauren Boyd

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Abstract

The present research set out to explore parents‟ perceptions of therapeutic horseback riding as an activity for their children with multiple disabilities. It was designed to explore their vicarious experiences of the activity as well as their perceptions of their children‟s experiences of the activity. In order to achieve this, a semi-structured interview was set up with 12 parents whose children participate in therapeutic horseback riding at the South African Riding for the Disabled Association (SARDA) in Constantia, Cape Town. The children ranged in age from 6-17 years and had a range of disabilities including physical and intellectual disabilities. Upon completion of the interviews, the data was transcribed by the researcher and analysed using thematic analysis. Following thematic analysis, three themes emerged: the effects of therapeutic horseback riding on the children, parents‟ personal experiences of therapeutic horseback riding and SARDA, and parents‟ perceived reasons for the improvements in their children. These results are supported by results in existing literature. The results however also address a gap in the existing literature regarding parents‟ perceptions of therapeutic horseback riding and their children‟s experiences of the activity.

Die huidige navorsing het ten doel om ouers se persepsie ten opsigte van terapeutiese perdry as aktiwiteit vir hul kinders met verskillende vorms van gestremdheid te ondersoek. Daar is gepoog om sowel die ouers as die kinders se ondervinding van die aktiwiteit te bepaal. Ten einde die doelwit te bereik is semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude gereël met twaalf ouers wie se kinders aan die terapeutiese perdry by die South African Riding for the Disabled Association (SARDA) in Constantia, Kaapstad deelneem. Die kinders se ouderdomme het gewissel tussen 6 en 17 jaar en hulle het 'n verskeidenheid van gestremdhede gehad wat beide fisiese en intellektuele gestremdhede ingesluit het. Na afhandeling van die onderhoude, is die data opgeteken deur die navorser en verwerk deur gebruik te maak van tematiese analise. Uit die tematiese analise het die volgende drie patrone duidelik geword: Die effek van terapeutiese perdry op die kinders, ouers se persoonlike ondervinding van terapeutiese perdry en SARDA en ouers se persepsie van die redes vir verbetering in hul kinders. Hierdie resultate word ondersteun deur bestaande literatuur. Die resultate vul ook „n gaping in bestaande literatuur aan ten opsigte van die ouers se persepsie van terapeutiese perdry en ook ouers en hul kinders se ervaring van die aktiwiteit.

Submitter

Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2015
Pages 143
Publisher Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University
Degree Master of Arts (Psychology)
URL http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96745
Language English
University Stellenbosch University
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Tags
  1. Animal-assisted activities
  2. Animal-assisted therapies
  3. Disabilities
  4. Disabled children
  5. Equine-assisted activities
  6. Horseback riding therapy
  7. Horses
  8. Human-animal relationships
  9. Mammals
  10. open access
  11. Parental Attitudes
Badges
  1. open access