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“Horse for autism” with Riding the Blue

20 September 2019

Fieracavalli's ethical-social project for children with ASD presented at Borgo Trento Hospital in Verona

Fieracavalli focuses on social issues. Welcome back to “Riding the Blue” – Veronafiere’s project in collaboration with the Joint University Hospital of Verona and the Local Social and Health Unit 9 Scaligera. The aim is to highlight the benefits of therapy assisted with horses in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

During the presentation this morning, a group of children, some suffering from ASD, enjoyed playing and interacting with ponies brought along by Fieracavalli’s organising staff.

Horse therapy offers numerous benefits: in addition to strengthening motor potential, it stimulates intellectual faculties and stirs the inner world by arousing empathy and encouraging self-awareness.

“Estimates published by the National Institute of Health suggest that one child in 80 in Italy has ASD. It is a full-scale health and social emergency. It is exceptional that an event such as Fieracavalli welcomes people with autism thanks to n approach created in relation to their needs,” explained Dr. Leonardo Zoccante (Professor at the Joint University Hospital of Verona and contact person for social aspects of the recently founded Fieracavalli Academy).

Fieracavalli this year will launch the Blue Trail, a special route within the event which includes three stages: a workshop with illustrative material, a visit to a small group of selected horses and, lastly, direct contact with horses with the possibility of short rides in the saddle.

Yet Riding the Blue will also go beyond the scope of the horse show: the project also includes a trial of therapy assisted with horses over the next year involving 15 children with ASD. The results will be presented at Fieracavalli 2020.

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