Saturday, December 6, 2008


Hippotherapy is a physical, occupational, and speech therapy treatment strategy that uses the natural movements of horses. Therapists use the horses' movements to provide sensory input. The horse handler is given specific directions regarding the gait, tempo, cadence, and direction for the horse to move. Hippotherapy comes from the Greek root hippo-, for horse and the word therapy , thus meaning therapy with the help of a horse. The horse's pelvis has the same three dimensional movement of the human's pelvis, at the walk. The horse's three dimensional movement is carefully graded at the walk in each treatment for the patient. This three dimensional movement provides physical and sensory input, which is variable, rhythmic and repetitive

Hippotherapy can only be provided by a licensed Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist or Speech and Language Pathologist. Adults and children with disabilities can improve their posture, muscle tone, coordination, balance,sensory/motor development as well as speech and language skills when hippotherapy is incorporated into a therapy plan.

No comments: