Date of Award/Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

MS in Special Education



First Supervisor

Susan M. Schultz


This paper documents the history of equine assisted therapy, therapeutic riding programs and the value of utilizing the equine as part of an alternative program for children and adults with disabilities. The researcher performed a qualitative study by working with two equine centers certified for therapeutic riding. The researcher was able to interact with and observe separate groups of children participating in equine assisted programs. The parents of these children were then interviewed regarding the changes in self-esteem of the children due to their participation in the program. Verbal interviews were obtained from the higher functioning participants. Positive results were reported from the majority of parents as well as participants however a larger study should be conducted to ensure validity of the study.

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