Information Sheet for Parents

Information Sheet for Parents
Research Project: To test the effects of the physical motion of a horse (riding therapy) on a
group of children with Dyspraxia and to determine whether any effects can be achieved by
auditory and visual perception of that motion.
Researcher: Ms CarenHession,, 00353 (0)87 9310427
Dear Parent,
My name is CarenHession and I am pursuing an MA by Research in Equine Therapy and
Non Verbal Communication in association with the Limerick School of Art and Design
(LSAD), Limerick Institute of Technology, under the supervision of Dr Nigel Oxley and Dr
Barbara Murphy, University College Dublin (UCD).
As part of my studies I am researching the effects the rhythm of a horse has on an individual
with dyspraxia. In particular I am exploring whether riding a horse has any physical or
cognitive benefits. Furthermore I am investigating whether any such benefits could be
stimulated or re-stimulatedby auditory or visual perception of a horse.
I am undergoing this research in conjunction with the Dyspraxia Association of Ireland and
Fettercairn Youth Horse Project, Dublin.
What does this research involve?
Over a period of 8 weeks we will look at the physical and cognitive effects of a horse,
through riding and perception, on individuals with dyspraxia. Children will participate in a
30minute horse riding session once a week, for a total period of 6 weeks. They will also be
asked to watch a 30 minute audio video piece of equine motion and behaviour, once a week,
for a total period of 2weeks.
As part of this research we are seeking the consent from you and your child, for your child to
participate in this study, should this be of interest to you both.
The riding lessons will be facilitated by the researcher and a certified riding instructor. The
lessons will consist of walking and steering a horse or pony. To reduce the potential for
accident or injury, each child will have a leader to lead their pony/horse, and 1-2 side helpers
who will be available to assist the child should they require it. There will also be at least one
first aider present during each riding session.
Parents are welcome to oversee the entire riding sessions should they wish.
Children will be fully assessed twice, prior to and post the 8 week period. This will consist
of: 1) a physical test; children will walk on walkway mat which will assess gait variability
and (2) Mood and Feelings questionnaire; children will be asked to fill in a simple mood
arousal questionnaire.
Children will also be sub-assessed via the Walkway mat alone,prior and post each horse
riding and audio/visual session.
Although there may be no direct benefits to participation, it is hoped that the child’s
coordination, gait variability and cognitive processes will improve as well as their mental
health and well-being.
You are free to contact me via phone or email (details above) at any stage with any queries or
concerns you may have regarding this study.
Please note that it is fundamental to the study that each child participates and attends all
sessions and assessments. Inability to attend all sessions and assessments mayunfortunately
result in the child’s discontinuation of the sessions and any data collected to date will have be
removed and disqualified from the study. Ultimately this may undermine the value of the
experiment as a whole.
The study plan will be broken down as such:
What happens if I do not wish to participate?
Participation is completely voluntary. You and your child are free to decide whether to
participate, and whetherto withdraw or discontinue participation in the project at any stage.
You are also entitled to have the data relating to your child deleted and not used in the
analysis of this study. This does not affect your relationship or services you receive or may
receive from Dyspraxia Association of Ireland or Fettercarin Youth Horse Project.
What happens if I wish to participate?
If you and your child are happy and wish to participate in the study you must sign the
attached consent form and return it to Dyspraxia Association of Ireland along with your
child’s attached assent form. The researcher will then make contact with you to discuss the
timetable of events etc. You may address any further questions you may have to her at this
What happens to my information?
Your information (forms and questionnaires) will be kept in a locked facility at the
researchers’ home office which cannot be accessed by anyone else other than the researcher.
All personal information given is confidential and will not be discussed within Dyspraxia
Association Ireland, Fettercairn Youth Horse Project or other.At the end of the study period,
all data will be aggregated by the researcher and analysed. Thedata will be used as part of the
researcher’s study at LSAD. No individual’s information will be given in these reports and
any identifiers such as names will be replaced with anonymous codes. The results from the
study may be published in professional journals or presented at conferences. Only the
finished report will be discussed with Dyspraxia Association of Ireland and Fettercairn Youth
Horse Project. The data after the study will be held for 3years in a locked cabinet at the
researchers’ home office and destroyed thereafter. All participants have the right to feedback
at the end of the study.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
Appreciating your time,
Kind regards,