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Neurotic fears in horse riding

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E. A. Sviatlovskaya – Lecturer, Economics and Culture Institute, State Educational Institution Children’s Park «Fili» (Moscow). E-mail: wooldog@rambler.ru
E. A. Nikonova – Ph.D. (Biol.), Associate Professor, Economics and Culture Institute, State Educational Institution Children’s Park «Fili» (Moscow). E-mail: wooldog@rambler.ru


For six years we have been working with people, children and adults, who couldn’t be taught riding in traditional way because of overwhelming fear. We worked with children, who wanted to ride but couldn’t achieve any results. Our experience is that such neurotic fear quite often isn’t caused by the riding itself, as it was thought before. It has its roots in the stress from school or family problems and can’t be released by traditional riding teaching. For our program we selected children from those, who were already riding from 3 month to 3 years, but still couldn’t fight their extreme fear. Experienced coaches were teaching them with minimum results. We created a method and a program to help the children through exercises and games. We consider our program extremely useful for rides of any age with position or balance problems. The program is different from most of existing ways of teaching because we work more with unconscious mechanisms than it is common in teaching. We work with the body and the body sensibility. The method is based on the idea that the task is to teach the body and than the mind, not the other way round. Most of the children who took part in our program managed to deal with their fear and became much more confident in general. That experience helped them a lot in other stressful and challenging situations in their lives.
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