Hippotherapy

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Animals always accompanied people in different activities. Thus, one of the animals that help people is a horse which is used for rehabilitation known as hippotherapy since the Hippocrates times. Hippotherapy is currently a very know method of rehabilitation used in many neurological, psychiatric and physical disorders on patients of all ages. In particular, it is often used as an element of a complex therapy for children so hippotherapy is a one form of rehabilitation which can help children to improve with physical and mental disorders.

“Hippotherapy literally means ‘‘‘therapy with the help of a horse’” and is derived from the Greek word hippos, meaning ‘‘‘horse’’’ (Granados and Agis 191). Therapeutic horseback riding is dated back as far as in ancient Greece. Hippocrates was the first to discover the benefits of it but after him none of the scholars describe the benefits if it, even though it has many years of the history. In 1875, Chassaignac noted that hippotherapy results in strengthening the muscles of the riders so it can help to improve the overall body posture. (Granados and Agis 191) Hippotherapy gained the popularity after WW II due to Germans which introduced the hippotherapy to the rest of the world. Therefore, in 1960 the therapeutic centers start to appear in the Canada and United States, and were aimed to treat such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, Down syndrome, spinal cord injury, attention deficits and autism. (Maysoun, et al. 1)

In addition, horses are important element of hippotherapy. “The horse should be capable of “’walking up under itself’”, meaning that, when the horse is walking, its back foot will step in the same place as the front foot just was” because horse is responsible to send the sensory inpu...

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...ldren with Sensory and Motor Issues." The Exceptional Parent” 33.11 (2003): 55-7, 59. Web. 27 Nov. 2011.

Hamill, Darrell, Kathleen Washington, and Owen R. White. "The Effect Of Hippotherapy On Postural Control In Sitting For Children With Cerebral Palsy." Physical & Occupational Therapy In Pediatrics 27.4 (2007): 23-42. Academic Search Premier. Web. 16 Nov. 2011.

Debuse, Dorothee, Colin Chandler, and Catherine Gibb. "An Exploration of German and British Physiotherapists' View on the Effects of Hippotherapy and Their Measurement." Physiotherapy Theory and Practice 21.4 (2005): 219-42. Web. 10 Nov. 2011

Roberto Casas, et al. "Study Of The Therapeutic Effects Of An Advanced Hippotherapy Simulator In Children With Cerebral Palsy: A Randomised Controlled Trial." BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 11 (2010): 71-76. Academic Search Premier. Web. 16 Nov. 2011
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