Horseback riding can be therapeutic for people with mental disabilities, emotional disorders, and people who are handicapped. The motion and position of the rider while on a horse greatly improves the balance, spatial awareness, coordination and motor development, all of which are common problems in such people. The control of the mind and body which are required to ride can help the person become more sensitive to his or her surroundings, and also to consider other factors in his situation besides himself. This also helps improve the person’s reaction time.
Building a strong, consistent relationship between the horse and the rider through the riding as well as grooming teaches people about trust and loyalty, as well as responsibility.