Riding Therapy
Benefits of Riding Therapy

Muirfield Riding Therapy is a place where people of all abilities can fulfil their potential.  We believe that working with horses can bring about improvements in the lives of us all.


My Riding Therapy Story

Let some of our Riders tell you what Muirfield Riding Therapy means to them; click on a name to find out more –

EilidhLydiaDavid and Charlie


Therapy-led sessions

MRT’s ethos is based on team work; by working together, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, education professionals and our specially trained Volunteers and Ponies we are able to offer Riders the best therapeutic benefit.

Our physiotherapists provide specialist child and adult services, and support the training of our Coaching Team.  Our Coaches are trained to think like therapists. We use riding as a therapeutic activity.  We work with our physiotherapists to provide tailored Therapy Plans for Riders using specific exercises to achieve individual goals.


Celebrating 10 years of pioneering partnership – Children’s Therapeutic Riding Service

Our Group physiotherapist Heather Falconer pioneered what has become The Children’s Therapeutic Riding Service, with NHS Lothian, which launched in 2010.  Specialist Hippotherapy treatment is designed by Heather, who has a post graduate qualification in Hippotherapy.  Riders attending these Hippotherapy sessions show significant improvements in:

  • Core stability and muscle strength
  • Balance
  • Posture in sitting, standing and walking
  • Symmetry
  • Walking Pattern
  • Gross motor skills
  • Functional movement


Technological advances

We added another therapy pony to our stables in 2017.  Our Mechanical Horse, Oreo!  This horse-shaped, high tech piece of physiotherapy equipment responds to leg and hand movements like a real horse.  Oreo is an important addition to our Centre, offering benefits to Riders and Therapists.  Oreo helps our Physiotherapists with Riders’ biomechanics assessments, offering top of the range postural analysis to improve muscle tone, strength and symmetry.

In November 2020, Oreo was moved into his new larger ‘stable’ thanks to long-awaited renovations.  Our Children’s Therapeutic Riding Team have been been able to restart their sessions again, paused due to COVID-19, by using Oreo for now to simulate the equine experience!


Connections, confidence, concentration

All the fun of making new friends, bonding with animals, enjoying the outdoors and achieving personal goals can see improvements in Riders’ social skills, confidence and concentration.  Teaching our Riders riding skills can help them build independence and self-confidence, and by working with Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Educational professionals we can help to bring about lasting improvements.


We have fun!

Motivation plays a big part in riding therapy. Many people with all sorts of physical, social, learning, behavioural and emotional difficulties have spent a lot of time with all sorts of health and education professionals. But at MRT, Riders often don’t even realise they’re working, even though riding a horse presents constant challenges both physical and sensory.


Being active is good for mental health

We all know that being physically active is good for our bodies. But our physical health and mental health are closely linked so physical activity can be very beneficial for our mental health and wellbeing too.  We have Riders who are referred to us from the NHS Lothian’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services


Supported Volunteers

Riding Therapy can also have benefits for Supported Volunteers.  Through learning about horse care , Supported Volunteers can learn about hygiene, diet, caring for others and responsibility.


All this can be achieved by our Team at Muirfield Riding Therapy – you can join us too!