Therapeutic horse riding assists patients in effecting changes in behavior, perception along with
the physical changes. The therapeutic space enables patients to feel different!
How exactly does therapeutic horse riding assist survivors recovering from breast cancer?
Recovering from breast cancer
80% of women who recover from breast cancer achieve full life expectancy and are able
to function fully for the rest of their lives.
The various treatments performed during this illness can cause a number of physical side
effects that impact the structure and function of the body.
Amongst the most common side effects are: weakness, edema and various pains, limited
range of movement, the health of the bones and osteoporosis and in addition, they must
cope with emotional tension, anxiety and in some cases, post trauma, PTSD.
These sensitivities can lead to disabilities and limitations in performing everyday tasks.
Professional literature talks very little about the functional rehabilitation of women
recovering from breast cancer.
The horse – the perfect therapist for women recovering from breast cancer
The horse is a powerful animal that connects with us emotionally thanks to its instincts and it
helps us develop a stronger sense of capability. In nature, the horse is prey. Like other non
predators, horses are particularly alert and therefore have a strong sense of honest non verbal
evaluation of people, which enables them to reflect peoples’ emotions.
What does EAT (Equine Assisted Therapy do to assist ?
Magic moments on a horse facilitate emotional rehabilitation and physical recovery in various
Improving well being
Increasing the range of emotions
Improving the range of movement
Renewing inner strength
Decreasing tension and anxiety
Improving breathing and posture
How does EAT assist women recovering from breast cancer?
It does so in a number of ways
The rhythmic repetitive pace of the horse transfers through the pelvis and
1. Awakens dormant nerve pathways
2. Stretched ligaments are released
3. Improves the muscle tone, balance, flexibility of the pelvic joints, all of which
support improved and healthier walking
The exercise on horseback improves blood flow
Develops correct breathing through the nose to the stomach and revives chest motion
The horses gait is similar to human walking and it enables physical and sensory
Lessens feelings of insecurity, anxiety and improves self image
Improves neural functions and supports essential sensory processing for a wide range of
The horse accepts us unconditionally and reminds us to live in the present. Contact with the
horse brings with it a feeling of peace and relaxation.
Riders recovering from breast cancer – our personal survivors
Touching thank-you letters that tell the story of TRCI:
Aliza Hirsch. 50 years old, recovering from breast cancer, instructor at TRCI
I am a winner ! That is the only way I am familiar with. I was born to Holocaust survivors,
survived harsh diseases, amongst them: breast cancer, ovarian cancer, Cerebral Vasculitis and I
am living in harmony with melanoma in one eye.
I began riding in England at the age of 6 and came back to the saddle seven years ago after a
very long break, and the magic was there. Today, as a middle aged woman, the horse for me is
both a physiotherapist and a psychologist.
Ever since I returned to riding, I have improved my range of movement. I can even park the car
The touch, the smell and the warmth of the horse comforts me, The connection with the horse
gives me courage and strength and fills me with hope.
H. 41 years old. Recovering from breast cancer, undergoing riding therapy.
I believe that riding is the best activity for healing women recovering from breast cancer. It
enables reconnecting with our own body while increasing the range of movement. In addition,
the horse assists in raising awareness of feelings during therapy. Today I know that the horse
reflects the rider’s mental and physical state and empowers and heals the body.
N. 65 years old, has beaten cancer, takes therapeutic riding.
“I am back on the horse!”
“The day I ride is the happiest day of my week. I look forward to it and to the connection with
the horse Graham.
This special combination of Graham, me and the therapist is key to my perseverance and
success. Riding days have special value to me.
“Who would have believed that I would of all things, connect to riding…I was afraid of this huge
animal and today I climb onto the horse with confidence and while sitting on it straight up, I feel
I could conquer the world. The combination of the energy and the horse’s movement strengthens
the back, the legs and arms and every part of my body and fills me with energy. I feel that for
cancer patients like me, riding a horse is essential and it makes all the difference. ”