Summary of the Systematic Review


The effect of a 5-week therapeutic horseback riding program on Gross Motor Function in a child with Cerebral Palsy

Mark Drnach, Patricia A O'Brien, Alison Kreger

Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2010) 



The purpose of this study was to determine the outcome of a short-term therapeutic horseback riding intervention on the gross motor function in a child with cerebral palsy.

This study employed a repeated-measures design with a pretest, a post-test, and a post post-test conducted 5 weeks apart using the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM) as an outcome measure. The three sets of test scores from the GMFM were compared upon completion of the intervention.

The subject participated in a 5-week therapeutic horseback riding program consisting of 1 hour of riding per week. Each riding session consisted of stretching, strengthening, and balance activities. The child's level of motor function was tested prior to the intervention, upon completion of the intervention, and 5 weeks postintervention. The GMFM, a criterion-referenced observational measure designed to measure change in the gross motor function in children with cerebral palsy, was chosen as the assessment tool.


Therapeutic Riding Instructor 



Intervention Terminology

Therapeutic Riding 

Study Design 

Case Study/repeated measures


1 child 


10 Years 

Assessment/ Outcome measure tools


Result Category 

Gross Motor 

Dosage/Description of Intervention

1 hour TR lessons for 5 weeks