Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Swortzel, Kiker A.

Committee Member

Denny, Marina D.

Committee Member

Peterson, Donna J.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Agricultural and Extension Education

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Animal assisted interventions are becoming more prevalent in our society. Animal interventions have become a popular therapy technique that exist to aid a variety of disabilities. Equine therapeutic riding has become one of the most popular forms of animal assisted therapy for both children and adults. While research shows the importance and benefits of animal assisted therapy for children, there is a lack of research concerning parental satisfaction within therapeutic riding programs.

This study tested a newly developed instrument for measuring parental satisfaction for therapeutic riding programs. The Parent/Caregiver Evaluation Tool (Kerr, 2021) was administered to parents/caregivers whose children participated at the North Dakota State University Bison Strides Riding Program to determine the instrument’s reliability. Secondly, the instrument was administered the parents/caregivers of the MSU Equine Assisted Therapeutic Riding Program. It was found that parents/caregivers were satisfied with the program, but there were some recommendations given.