Hippotherapy for Children with Special Needs

Hippotherapy for kids with special needs is a very effective treatment strategy used by occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech and language pathologists for impairments, disabilities and functional limitations in children with sensory and neuromotor dysfunction.

Improves mobility

Hippotherapy makes use of the movement of the horse to improve mobility of a child with developmental delays. The movement of the horse can be incorporated into the care plan for a child who has trouble in walking.

Kids with special needs learn the movement of the horse to influence their central nervous system through the repetitive and natural rhythm of the horse gait. The horse’s movement or walk can generate sensory, motor and speech guide paths into the brain of the patient to improve developmental, speech and motor capabilities of the child. The healing technique is very natural and even provides a variety of methods to correct dysfunctions of the child even in a faster phase or shorter period of time.

Those with Down Syndrome have a very promising cure so parents are advised to adopt hippotherapy at certain costs since this treatment method is not covered by health insurance.

Companion for the child

This therapy allows the child to interact also with a speech therapist specifically trained in hippotherapy while enjoying the companionship of the horse. The child is made to talk to horse, guide the horse, follow instructions and later ride on the horse as the child gets acquainted and be comfortable with the horse.

Hippotherapy for kids with special needs has been used for therapeutic riding or as a special treatment for about 40 years already.

Improves psychomotor functions

It can serve as a natural cure also for children with cerebral palsy, brain injuries and autism. The therapy allows the kids to function better in their daily lives.

The rhythmic movements of the horse are very good for a child with autism, improving the kid’s posture and body control as well. The balance of the autistic child is also improved since he or she is getting about 1000 impulses per minute into his or her brain which is something the patient cannot get from a clinic. The horse is also allowed to play games with the patient and has been an effective part of the program.

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