WHAT IS HIPPOTHERAPY
The term hippotherapy refers to how occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology professionals use evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning in the purposeful manipulation of equine movement to engage sensory, neuromotor, and cognitive systems to achieve functional outcomes. In conjunction with the affordances of the equine environment and other treatment strategies, hippotherapy is part of a patient's integrated plan of care.
Shane has been taking to riding Fred at only his third session. There are several maneuvers the therapists help him through while he is riding his new friend, "Fred the Horse" at http://highhorses.org/ in Norwich, Vermont. Not only does Shane seem to be enhancing his social, physical, cognitive behavioral skills but also we have seen first hand improvement in his posture as well as flexibility when he is finished with his riding session.
Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies are recognized by:
American Physical Therapy Association, American Occupational Therapy Association, Easter Seals, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Special Olympics, Spina Bifida Association, United Cerebral Palsy.
For other rare disease disorders that affect development, hippo therapy could indeed help.
A special thanks goes to Shane's Aunt Liz and Uncle Pat for being so good at playing music!