Interdisciplinary Collaboration between Music Therapy and Therapeutic Riding
In order to determine the design and feasibility of collaboration between music therapy and therapeutic riding, the researcher/ music therapist collaborated with three therapeutic riding instructors, eight volunteers, six riders, and six of their caregivers over a six-week period. This involved the planning and implementation of collaborative sessions that were led by a music therapist and therapeutic riding instructor with assistance from volunteers and caregivers with instruction and treatment that was geared towards riders with a variety of special needs. Data was gathered through voice recordings of interviews as well as written feedback through email correspondences and questionnaires that were completed by participants. Throughout the collaborative process the functions of music that were most commonly used included task analysis, transitions, physical cuing, memory aid/mnemonic device, social interactions, and relaxation. After clearly defining the roles of each team member, an environment of collaboration and communication resulted in experimentation of new and different approaches. After considering the results, the collaborative efforts were determined to be feasible for the short term timeline that was chosen for the methodology of this study. The collaborative efforts were determined to be feasible based on the successful discoveries that were made regarding functional approaches to communication and collaboration between team members, which resulted in common functions of music within therapeutic riding session. Although, future research is needed to determine methods of how to secure long term funding that is needed to hire a music therapist at a therapeutic riding facility as well as to explore long term effects that music therapy can have on progress towards a rider’s goals/objectives in order to support the longevity of these collaborative efforts.