Therapeutic riding: Lis Hartel

Some of you may be familiar with therapeutic  horseback riding. It helps people in many ways-physically, emotionally and socially. Riding empowers people and lifts their spirits. Even Prime Minister Winston Churchill said “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”  Children with disabilities such as, cerebral palsy, autism, and even blindness, love the special connection they feel with their horse.

Who was the first person with a disability to be empowered by horses?  The answer is Lis Hartel. She was a  Danish equestrian who won medals in the Olympics in 1943 and 1944, even though she suffered from polio. In fact, she rode against the advice of her doctors when she’d contracted polio seventeen years before winning her Olympic medals. Lis has the honor of being the first person to advocate therapeutic riding.  Isn’t that amazing?

For more about her life and accomplishments, please click these links:

If you know anyone with a disability, you may suggest therapeutic riding to them. It could open doors for them and lift their spirits as well.

When Lis retired from competition, she worked hard to promote the benefits of riding. She also raised money for victims of polio. No doubt her efforts benefited many people myself included. Riding gave me confidence and changed my life because of a single decision my dad made.

Would you like to know more about how horses help people? Check out these links:

copyright 2018: Deanie  Humphrys-Dunne


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