Winthrop, Maine 1-800-273-5200

Benefits of Therapeutic Horseback Riding - Clinical Trial

Maine Behavioral Healthcare and the Riding to the Top Therapeutic Riding Center are working together to test if measures of physiological states of arousal, heart rate and electrodermal activity, can help to tell us why therapeutic horseback riding (THR) can be helpful for children and teens with autism.                                                   

There is increasing evidence that human-animal interventions such as therapeutic horseback riding (THR) can lead to improved emotional health and social wellness outcomes in children. However, what we do not know is how or why these positive outcomes occur. It has been proposed that being with an animal or riding a horse can produce a physiologic state of alert relaxation or mindfulness in humans that can then lead to positive outcomes.

We are looking for children with ASD and other diagnoses such as anxiety, ADHD, or mood disorder, ages 6-16 years old, who might be interested in participating in our study!

What are the benefits to being involved in this study?

  • Your child will receive 10 weeks of group sessions at Riding to the Top Therapeutic riding center, free of charge
  • You will receive a report of testing results completed at the start of study

If you are interested in learning more or to see if you qualify, please contact:
Taylor Lovering, research assistant at 207-661-5999 or email


Thank you!

Matthew Siegel, MD.
Principal Investigator
MaineHealth, Maine Behavioral Healthcare
MMCRI IRB with COMIRB# 19-1962