What is Hippotherapy?
The word “hippotherapy” comes from the Greek word, “hippo”, meaning “horse”. Hippotherapy is treatment with the help of a horse. (Hippopotamus is Greek for “river horse”.) Specially trained physical, occupational, speech, and assistant therapists use this treatment approach to achieve functional outcomes.
Why a Horse?
The unique combination of the horse, the horse’s movement, and non-clinical environment produces an extraordinary effort on all systems of the body. The therapist can modify the horse’s movement to promote specific responses within the individual. It is a treatment approach that uses activities on the horse that are meaningful to the individual and specifically addresses their functional goals. What’s more enjoyable than receiving therapy on the back of a horse?!
What are the Benefits?
•Motor skills and coordination
•Head and trunk control
•Balance and symmetry
•Relief from pain and muscle spasms
•Psychological, cognitive, and behavioral function
Who can Participate?
Individuals currently receiving services through OT, PT or ST and deemed appropriate by the treating therapist.