There are a few different types of therapy that uses horses. Hippotherapy means- “treatment with the help of a horse” (Naomi Scott). The word hippo is used because this term is derived from the greek word hippo which means horse. “Hippotherapy is generally indicated for children and adults with mild to severe neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction.” (Naomi Scott). This type of therapy uses the horses motion to improve on the neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction of the patient. These dysfunctions can include “abnormal muscle tone., impaired balance responses, impaired coordination, impaired communication, impaired sensorimotor function, postural asymmetry, poor postural control, decreased mobility, and limbic system issues related to arousal, motivation, and attention. Funtional limitations relating to gross motor skills such as sitting, standing, walking; speech and language abilities; and behavioral and cognitive abilities, may be impoved with hippotherapy.” (Naomi Scott). Hippotherapy is not recommended for every rider with disabilities.
Another kind of therapy is called called Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy or E.F.P. This type of therapy includes “handling, grooming, lunging, riding, driving, and vaulting.” - (Naomi Scott). This type of therapy does not help you physically, however being around the horse helps phycological healing.
Therapeutic riding goes all the way back to world war one where it was used to help veterans (Naomi Scott). “Riding for the handicapped began in Scandinavia” -(Naomi Scott). There are many different well known Equine facilities like the WETRA, CARD, EAGALA, NARHA, and CANTRA.
Therapeutic riding can benefit you in many different aspects. Its phycological benefits include promoting feelings of power and happiness. The physical benefits include posture, improved balance, and circulation. The functional benefits are hand eye coordination and multitasking. The educational benefits are identity of colors through games, making sufficient speculations, and tying knots. Therapeutic riding can also save a child from undergoing surgery (Naomi Scott).
There is a lot more than just the rider and the horse that goes into therapeutic riding, a lot of special equipment and helpers are needed to make it all work. Rubber bands secure the stirrups to make it more comfortable for the rider. Often a western saddle is used so that the rider has a horn to hold on to. Two side walkers walk on each side of the horse to ensure the riders safety. The side walkers job is often to help the rider stay sitting up straight. Or they just rest there hands on the legs of the rider so that they are always ready to pull the rider off the horse if something goes wrong. The side walkers are the ones who have most of the interaction with the rider. They play educational games with the rider and indicates for them to stretch. These stretches improve the riders flexibility and balance. An example of a game they would play includes putting cups on cones,...