History of Equine Therapy
The use of horses for therapy
has been recognized as a viable supplement to traditional therapy
for several years. Beginning in Europe in the 1950's, the efforts
of Liz Hartel of Denmark are widely recognized as the birth
of therapeutic riding as we recognize it today.
Ms. Hartel rehabilitated herself
from wheelchair to the back of a horse and gained the notice
of medical and dressage professionals by winning the silver
medal at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics in Grand Prix Dressage.
Soon, centers employing horses for therapy opened and flourished
throughout Europe, and not long afterwards became popular in
Starting in Canada,
the CANadian Therapeutic
or CANTRA opened in Toronto (originally
they went by the acronym CARD, followed
by the Cheff Center for the Handicapped in Augusta, MI. It was
soon apparent that an "umbrella" organization that
could serve as a nerve center for information and accreditation
was needed, and in 1969, the origins of NARHA, now called PATH International,
were born in Middleburg, VA.
For more information about the
history of therapeutic riding and PATH International, please refer to: http://www.pathintl.org/about-path-intl/about-path-intl