Evaluation of an equine therapy program in students with Autism spectrum disorder





Therapeutic horseback riding, Autism, Psychomotricity, Social skills, Qualitative study


Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) has the main objective of using horseback riding as a tool in a therapeutic process to improve, among other facets, motor skills and postural control and even psychological well-being. The purpose of this research was to determine if equinetherapy (horseback riding with a therapeutic aim) favours the motor, communication and social development in subjects with ASD. A case study was performed with 5 subjects between 8 and 31 years. The program was carried out over 32 sessions of 60 minutes each, a day a week. The recording techniques were a questionnaire, observation and a field diary. Among the most salient results, we point out improvements in balance, posture, fine and gross motricity, and an optimal muscle relaxation that gradually leads to a removal of stereotypies. Regarding the aspect of social communication, a major improvement in non-verbal communication, and new bonding of friendship, love and respect for animals. This study is a contribution to the scientific evaluation of equine therapy as an effective treatment in persons with ASD.


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How to Cite

Portela-Pino, I., Bouzo-Gónzalez, S., & Pino-Juste, M. (2020). Evaluation of an equine therapy program in students with Autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 15(4), 783–793. https://doi.org/10.14198/jhse.2020.154.06



Physical Education / Children & Exercise

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