Hippotherapy is a physical, occupational, speech or recreational therapist treatment strategy utilizing the movement of the equine and is part of an integrated treatment program. A trained licensed therapist works with students in a controlled environment. The therapist modifies the horse's movement and carefully gives sensory input. Specific riding skills are not taught during these sessions but rather a foundation is established to improve neurological and sensory processing. Support is given according to the individual needs of each rider. The preferred tack is a bareback pad which allows the rider to feel more warmth and movement from the horse. Scholarships may be available, please call for more information.
Why the Horse?
The horse's walk provides sensory input through movement, which is variable, rhythmic, and repetitive. The resultant movement responses in the patient are similar to human movement patterns of the pelvis while walking. The variability of the horse's gait enables the therapist to grade the degree of sensory input to the patient, and then utilize this movement in combination with other treatment strategies to achieve desired results. Patients respond enthusiastically to this enjoyable experience in a natural setting.
General Indications for Hippotherapy: Children and adults with mild to severe neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction
• Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy
• Developmental Delay, Genetic Syndromes, Learning Disabilities
• Sensory Integration Disorders, Speech-Language Disorders
• Traumatic Brain Injury/Stroke Impairments
• Abnormal muscle tone, Impaired balance responses, Impaired coordination
• Impaired communication, Impaired sensorimotor function, Postural asymmetry
• Poor postural control, Decreased mobility
• Limbic system dysfunction related to arousal and attentional skills
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