This unique form of medical therapy for individuals with physical or cognitive disabilities is performed on horseback under the coordinated supervision of a physical/occupational/recreational/speech therapist and a PATH Certified Riding Instructor. Hippotherapy provides the rider with benefits similar to those of office physical therapy but in the fun, creative, safe, and effective atmosphere of a riding arena.
The horse’s gait simulates the natural rhythmic gait of an able-bodied person and when astride the horse, a rider with a disability is receiving the same physical stimulus that able-bodied persons receive from walking. The movement and warmth of the horse help improve the rider’s range of motion and muscle tone. Opportunities for improvement in the rider’s emotional well-being and social skills are provided through the relationship that develops between horse and rider.