What is it? Hippotherapy is a treatment strategy used by physical, occupational, and, or speech therapists that utilizes equine movement as part of an integrated intervention program to achieve functional outcomes (Helps children sit, stand, walk, balance, and MOVE more independently!).
Who is it for? Children (and adults) with mild to severe neuromuscular and other medical conditions, who have abnormal muscle tone, impaired balance, impaired coordination, impaired communication, impaired sensorimotor function, postural asymmetry, poor postural control, decreased mobility, and limbic system dysfunction related to arousal and attentional skills.
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 achieved desired results.
Patients respond enthusiastically to this enjoyable experience in a natural setting! Therapy is FUN!
We offer hippotherapy services with a physical or occupational therapist, depending on your child’s goals and needs.