The Therapeutic Center for Riding and Dog Training treats a wide range of people with special needs
using horses and dogs, and brings about changes in the lives of our patients. We are delighted to tell
the story of a dear patient of ours, who now volunteers on a permanent basis and has become part of
the family of the Center.
Schizophrenia and obsessive behavior is what a young man of 25 was dealing with, as one of our
patients. His life can be divided into two parts, before the outbreak of his disease and after. What he
went through was far from easy, but at the end of the process he proved to everyone that for him, the
sky was the limit.
In his case, he came to us after three years of conventional treatment, including hospitalization in a
hospital for the mentally ill. None of this was able to affect an improvement in his medical trend. At
TRCI he was introduced to a long term course of therapeutic activity which included three sessions of
five hours each, using horses and dogs.
The patient’s unique program was constructed on the basis of the following goals- physical exertion,
improving concentration, perseverance and success carrying out uncomplicated tasks.
As part of the adaptation of the program that was constructed specifically to meet his needs, we
matched the horse to the patient’s characteristics. The horse Hans was chosen for the purpose. Hans is
a broadly built horse that has a slow gait, a fact that instills confidence in those who ride him, while
still developing the challenging riding skills.
The patient achieved independent riding, control of various riding paces, understood the importance of
the complete attention the horse required, and mostly enjoyed the process and loved coming to the
Center. The therapy made it possible for the patient to carry out daring actions, even if he felt initial
After significant physical exertion during the therapeutic riding, he would walk with the horse and talk
to it lengthily. Through his therapeutic dog training sessions, he connected with the dogs and their
needs, he would talk to them and improve his personal skills.
The patient built a relationship of trust with the team, the horse he rode and the dogs. The obsessive
behavior and other schizophrenic characteristics were significantly reduced.
Today this patient is a member of our family, volunteering here and continuing to develop and
contribute to society, showing how success is well within reach.