Saturday, December 6, 2008

Interesting Research About Hippotherapy

Perhaps the best evidence hippotherapy works was reported by Dr. Daniel Bluestone, then a pediatric neurologist at UC San Francisco, who had been following the progress of children receiving hippotherapy treatment. Comparing MRI scans over time, Bluestone found that the repetitive movement of riding prompts physical changes in the brain.

"We think that hippotherapy is effective in helping re-work networks within the cerebellum and within the motor system up in the cerebrum," he said in a Discovery Channel documentary. "The pathways within the brain that facilitate a particular movement become reinforced over time. The more pathways you reinforce, the better the brain compensates and the better motor function can improve."

Bluestone, who now practices in Fresno, said children do especially well in hippotherapy because the child's brain is constantly developing and changing. The "sensory input" children receive during therapy allows them to re-model their neural networks. The Red Thread Promise has been very happy to have the opportunity to support Preston and Cole with hippotherapy!


Tammy said...

Thank you for sharing this! I am currently getting certified as a Therapeutic Horseback Riding Instructor and it is amazing to see how this helps so many children with disabilities!

I love your blog - keep up the great work!


Adrid said...

Hello,i am psychology.Sorry for my bad english but i am spanish.The next week i ´m going to work in hippotherapy and that is my first job, so i am very anxiety.If anybody had some experiences in this field, i´d thank whether they send me wathever information.My email is I hope that my work will useful for those people that need aid.Thank you very much.