HORSE ASSISTED THERAPY

Equine-Assisted Therapy, Hippotherapy, and Therapeutic Horseback Riding Equine-assisted therapy is the all-encompassing term given to any treatment or therapy exercises that incorporate a horse.

HORSE ASSISTED THERAPY

Equine-Assisted Therapy, Hippotherapy, and Therapeutic Horseback Riding Equine-assisted therapy (or simply equine therapy) is the all-encompassing term given to any treatment or therapy exercises that incorporate a horse. Horses are used in a variety of physical, occupational, speech-language, complementary and alternative, and recreational therapy programs. Physically, equine therapy works to improve balance, gait, gross motor skills, range-of-motion (ROM), strength, coordination, and muscle tone. Like all other forms of animal assisted therapy and pet therapy, equine therapy has profound cognitive, social, emotional, and behavioral benefits as well. Children with a range of disabilities, injuries, and special needs have benefited from equine-assisted therapy—some of these special needs include ADHD, cerebral palsy (CP), behavioral disorders, traumatic brain injuries, autism, and intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Children and adults with special needs can benefit from horses as both companions and therapy animals. Below, we’ll discuss two popular subcategories of equine-assisted therapy in more detail.

HIPPOTHERAPY

Hippotherapy is a form of equine therapy that aims to improve a patient’s neurological function, sensory processing, and overall functional ability through the movement of a horse. Children with a range of special needs and disabilities have used hippotherapy for therapeutic purposes. Many of these children have disabilities and neurological disorders including cerebral palsy, autism, behavioral disorders, psychiatric disorders, traumatic brain injuries, spine injuries, and more. During a hippotherapy session, the horse’s gait moves the rider’s pelvis in a way that mimics human walking. The goal of hippotherapy is to help the patient move in response to the horse’s movement, ultimately establishing normal patterns of human walking, improving sensory processing, and cultivating neurological functioning.

Therapeutic horseback riding: Therapeutic horseback riding differs from hippotherapy in that it teaches specific horseback riding skills—hippotherapy, on the other hand, derives its purpose from the horse’s movement alone. In therapeutic horseback riding sessions, an instructor teaches a special needs student rehabilitative riding techniques and encourages bonding between the student and horse.

TYPES OF EQUINE THERAPY

EQUINE-ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY (EAP)

In EAP sessions, licensed mental healthcare providers partner with credentialed equine professionals to help clients work toward psychotherapy treatment goals.

EQUINE-ASSISTED LEARNING THERAPY (EAL)

This type of equine therapy focuses on helping individuals develop essential life skills, such as communication, trust, respect, self-awareness, and honesty.

HIPPOTHERAPY

In contemporary usage, hippotherapy refers to methods of occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy using horses.

THE BENEFITS OF EQUINE-ASSISTED THERAPY

GREATER CONFIDENCE AND SELF-ESTEEM

BETTER COMMUNICATION SKILLS

IMPROVED SELF-REGULATION

SENSE OF TRUST

MORE REALISTIC SELF-IMAGE

ABILITY TO FOCUS ON OTHERS

STRONGER SOCIAL SKILLS

FEELINGS OF CONNECTION

WHAT WE OFFER

We are a fully-equipped, friendly and active club offering riding lessons that are suitable for riders of all abilities, from complete beginners who have never ridden before up to international competition level. Our training covers dressage, jumping, hacking, with fantastic instructors who enjoy teaching us as much as we like to ride!

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