Term of Award

Spring 1990

Degree Name

Master of Recreation Administration

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Recreation and Leisure Services

Committee Chair

Paul S. Miko

Committee Member 1

Jimmy Calloway

Committee Member 2

Patrick R. Cobb

Committee Member 3

James L. McMillan


This study was designed to explore the potential behavioral effects of a therapeutic horseback riding program on children and adolescents with psychiatric difficulties/disorders. The methodology utilized was content analysis. A hospital staff member randomly selected sixteen participants' charting notes out of a total of twenty-two participants in a therapeutic horseback riding program. These notes were given to the researcher with all participant identification information removed for confidentiality measures. The content of these sixteen participants' charting notes was analyzed by the researcher. The researcher read four participant charts from each of the hospital units, Child, Early Adolescent, Adolescent, and Dual Focus. From this analysis, the researcher categorized statements written in the charting notes as "positive," "neutral," and/or "negative." Furthermore, each note was categorized according to the time frames of "before" the horseback riding session (one to two hours prior to the session), "during" the riding session, "after" the riding session (immediately following the session up to one hour), and "short-term" after the session (one to twelve hours following the session). Following the categorizations of each charting note, a total was calculated for each category. A Chi-Square Test of Independence with an acceptable significance level of .05 was tabulated based on the observed frequencies in each category. The Chi-Square test yielded a significance level of .0029. Findings included both positive and negative behavioral trends from participation in the therapeutic horseback riding program. Positive effects were primarily during the program session, while negative effects were presented immediately before and after the riding sessions.


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