One cornerstone of The Hacienda at the River is rediscovering those elements of the region’s traditional lifestyles that especially foster balance and well-being. The horse culture of the Southwest is alive and well, and Tucson is fortunate to be home to one of the country’s best-known and respected equine therapy organizations, Adventures in AwarenessTM, established by Tucson’s Barbara Rector.
In equine-assisted physical therapy, licensed practitioners facilitate physical interactions between participants and horses. This may include riding, petting or grooming them, or simply being in their presence. Horseback riding improves balance, strength and coordination; all of these activities are viable forms of occupational therapy and rehabilitative care after injury or illness. They can also be valuable tools in treating such conditions as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Emotional well-being can also be enhanced through equine therapy. In the natural outdoor setting at The Hacienda, residents benefit from the gentle counsel of these magnificent creatures. The challenge of caring for horses can lead to increased compassion, sense of purpose, and confidence. The attentiveness required around these sensitive intelligent animals may support self-awareness and lead to emotional growth.