In the 1990s, work concerning equestrian therapy began in our country (Uruguay), with the Army Riding School being a pioneer in this area. In 1996 a pilot project began, where a group of adolescents with Down syndrome attended recreational activities with horses. In 2002 there were already 15 centres throughout the country located in Army units, providing therapy free of charge to 350 people with different disabilities. As a result of this growth, it was necessary to create a body that would regulate the local equestrian therapy operation. Thus, the Army launched a project leading to the creation of the “National Center for Equestrian Promotion and Rehabilitation” (Ce, Na, F, R, E,) which was approved on July 1 2003, by a decree issued from the Executive Power. Currently, the Ce.Na.F.R.E has 48 associated Military and Civil centres throughout the country that aid 2,000 students per month for free. Since 2003, a training course for Equestrian Rehabilitation Instructors has been taught, currently as a tertiary training conducted on a university level. Such training is recognised by the Uruguay’s Ministry of Education and Culture. In 2007, the Equestrian Affairs Commission was created in Uruguay, with CeNaFRE being a member of the same and the forerunner of a national law to recognize and regulate equestrian therapy at the national level (decree 480/008). Important recognitions have been obtained from national and international organisations, especially highlighting the acquisition of the FEI AWARDS 2013 trophy. It is also noteworthy the development of significant projects and agreements on a national level which helped the state subsidise and financially support these therapy sessions. Moreover, such projects also made it possible to represent our country during sporting events (para-equestrian and special horsemanship) both on a regional and an international level, while obtaining excellent results.
Equestrian Rehabilitation Programs in URUGUAY, history, antecedents and current affairs of the “National Center for Equestrian Promotion and Rehabilitation dependent on the National Army, model of management, organization and inter-institutional collaboration
CENAFRE, Uruguay, equestrian rehabilitation