Horse Therapy

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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 a...

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Contact the NARHA to start a riding program (Naomi Scott). The NARHA stands for North American Riding for the Handicapped association (3). To be a therapeutic riding instructor you need to complete a training program accredited by the NARHA to get certified (3). Riding programs are also a good place for the children to interact with other children (Naomi Scott). During riding programs students work on volunteer management, disability, lunging, hippo therapy, vaulting, and more (Naomi Scott). Riding horses is an enjoyable activity. Therapeutic riding really helps boost the child's self esteem (Naomi Scott). Having control over the horse makes the rider get feelings of power (Naomi Scott). It boosts their self esteem to be able to force a horse around the arena (3) Riding a horse is really enjoyable thing to do and its important that the kids have fun.

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