The Turkish Jockey Club (TJK) has opened a third horse therapy center for children with disabilities in the Şirinyer Hippodrome in the Aegean Sea city of Izmir.
Izmir Deputy Governor Erol Türkmen, Provincial Director of National Education Ömer Yahşi, and the TJK President Yasin Kadri Ekinci all participated in the opening of the center alongside disabled children and their families.
Ekinci explained that his organization had received positive feedback from the first center they opened in Istanbul in 2015. He said that the Turkish Jockey Club hopes to continue opening similar therapy centers across the country.
Emphasizing that the centers have made substantial progress in the treatment and rehabilitation of a large number of disabled children, Ekinci outlined, "Using this method, it is possible to treat children with disabilities who cannot otherwise enter society."
He added that horse therapy must be done under the supervision of physiotherapists and doctors.
Murat Bicakçı, the father of Yunus Emre, an eight-year-old boy with autism and epilepsy, noted that his son loved the horses and that he was happy that they were opening a new therapy center.
"I had heard about horse therapy before and I do believe that it is beneficial. My son wants to ride for an hour," Bicakçı said.
The center will also provide therapists for the disabled on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Equine therapy can be implemented to help therapists reach their patients on a more personal level. It can also be beneficial for individuals with autism, as riding a horse can improve motor skills, as well as emotional and sensory sensations.