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Implementation period:  September – December 2016

Source of funding: Bulgarian Charities Aid Foundation and TBI Bank – part of the bank’s new commercial campaign “Sport for a better life for children”

Role of the organisation: leading

Expected results: Provision of alternative therapy – hippotherapy for 20 children in two target groups – children with special needs and socially vulnerable ones.

Specific objectives: 

  • Increase in the intensity of the therapeutic sessions with children with special needs who have already started hippotherapy;
  • Expansion of access for children in need to sports and therapeutic activities, provided in Ruse Horse Club;

Results:  120 individual therapeutic sessions were provided for 10 children with special needs – 5 children from the Pink house and 5 children with disabilities from the community who were accompanied by their parents.

10 children from the Centre for Street Children in the complex had 12 group sessions in the Ruse Horse Club.

The results for both groups of children are significant.

 After the groups of participating children were formed and agreements with the parents were signed, the individual and group sessions started.

The children from the CSC were extremely happy and pleased with their visits to the Horse Club. They built excellent relationships with the horses and the coaches. Observations and analyses show that horse riding has a beneficial effect on children’s physical development and it also educates qualities such as discipline, responsibility, empathy, work habits, positive attitude towards nature etc. Improvement of communication skills is also evident. The competitive element in horse riding helps children to increase their self-esteem and to develop confidence in their own abilities.  The improvement of the physical and the psycho-emotional conditions of children lead to increase in the effectiveness and quality of the process of socialization.

 For the children with special needs from the Pink house and those from the community therapeutic horse riding has a transforming effect. All children’s overall physical conditions are improved – body balance, movement coordination, lower muscle spasticity. Children with different motor and mental difficulties and with diagnoses such as: cerebral palsy, mental retardation, disorders from the autistic spectrum, hyperactivity and attention deficit, blindness, etc. communicated with the horses in a non unique way with the help of the coaches. The children overcame their fears and improved their abilities of expressing positive emotions.  

Five children from the Pink house have taken part in 6 therapeutic sessions. The progress is slower with them, having in mind their conditions, but experts recognize the positive influence of these activities. 

You can read additional details on our website: www.eq-bg.org