The Korea Racing Authority will open 30 KRA Riding Healing Centers by 2022 to help treat teenagers with emotional problems.
The KRA vowed last week to put up 100 billion won ($88.4 million) to build the centers and train professionals to teach therapeutic horse riding. Each center will be able to treat about 2,000 teenagers per year, which will add up to over 60,000 per year by 2022.
Therapeutic horse riding is a well-known treatment to help teenagers who are suffering from conditions like ADHD to find mental and physical stability, according to the KRA. Such animal-assisted therapy began in the 1960s overseas.
|KRA’s Youth Riding Team take their horses out on a riding ground. (KRA)|
Korea’s first Riding Healing Center opened on June 25 in Guwol-dong, Incheon City. The 6611-square-meter center offers professional therapists as well as a riding ground.
“If the plans following the opening of the first KRA Riding Healing Center are successively achieved, we think that it will contribute much to solve issues rooted in teenagers’ emotional problems. The plan will also contribute to revitalizing the horse industry as the number of professionals and riding grounds will increase,” said KRA chairman Chang Tae-pyong through a statement.
The centers will be established in cities like Incheon but also in more eco-friendly suburbs as well.
Centers will offer two-step therapy ― consulting therapy with a doctor and professional therapist as well as riding therapy with a professional riding therapist. A feedback session will begin after a complete round of treatment based on the results.
The KRA plans to offer the therapy without charge for low-income families to alleviate the burden of medical costs. Services will be offered at prime cost for others.
To train professional riding therapists, the KRA recently opened a training course. Six applicants are currently enrolled in the six-month intensive training course. The KRA plans to invite a professional in the field from overseas in October who can teach advanced techniques.
“As the public company leading the nation’s horse industry, we will make the KRA Riding Healing Center sustainable and not a one-time event, and also establish the KRA as a representative company in terms of social contribution,” said Chang.
By Park Min-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)