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Therapeutic Riding and Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Program Evaluation

By Brenna Goodwin

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Therapeutic riding is a commonly used therapeutic approach for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Research supports therapeutic riding for children with ASD; however, the effect of specific sub-types of therapeutic riding (e.g., therapeutic riding drill team) has been under investigated. Furthermore, the role of self-efficacy and other programmatic components (e.g., interaction with horses, interaction with other participants, etc.) of therapeutic riding programs have not been studied, especially among children with ASD. This study evaluated a therapeutic riding drill team for children with ASD to determine if and to what extent self-efficacy and other program components were present. Three forms of data were collected including a retrospective Important Performance Analysis (IPA), satisfaction questionnaire, and interviews with the participants and their caregiver. The results showed high performance on the retrospective IPA, high satisfaction on the program components, and indicators of the presence of self-efficacy among participants in the therapeutic riding program. This information may be used by recreational therapists in therapeutic riding programs to target aspects of self-efficacy and other program components serving children with ASD.


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2015
Pages 85
Department Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management
Degree Master of Science (MS)
Language English
University Clemson University
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal-assisted activities
  2. Animal-assisted therapies
  3. Autism
  4. Children
  5. open access
  6. therapeutic riding programs
  1. open access