Cerebral Palsy

The Benefits of Hippotherapy for Cerebral Palsy

Children with spastic cerebral palsy experience muscle and joint stiffness, which often manifests in jerky movements and balance difficulties. As researchers learn more about equine-assisted therapy and therapeutic horseback riding, the benefits of hippotherapy for cerebral palsy become even clearer. Further studies seek to explain why this method is so effective.

Why Is Therapeutic Horseback Riding Effective?

Hypotheses suggest that there’s a strong similarity between human walking patterns and horse gaits. Over time, as riders adjust to the horses’ movements, their muscles can adapt accordingly. This phenomenon leads to improvements in balance, coordination, and muscle strength. The smooth, rhythmic walking motion can also lead to greater trunk and head stability.

An inclusive meta-analysis indicates that hippotherapy is significantly effective in addressing symptoms of cerebral palsy, and research continues to support this notion. One study shows how it is the horse’s movement, in particular, that makes a difference. Participants who sat astride a barrel saw nowhere near the improvement as those engaged in active hippotherapy.

How the MiraColt Makes a Difference

Because the specific walking pattern plays such a vital role in hippotherapy’s effectiveness, it’s crucial that simulators accurately mimic these movements. Unfortunately, most horseback riding simulators cannot achieve an authentic horse gait. Enter the MiraColt. At Chariot Innovations, we uncovered innovative technology to see real-life hippotherapy benefits in a mechanical form.

For the first time ever, parents and clinicians can bring the experience of therapeutic horseback riding into their homes and facilities. MiraColt eliminates the barriers of accessibility, weather, and safety so that the benefits of hippotherapy for cerebral palsy are achievable to anyone who needs them. Our technology combines the convenience and safety of mechanical horseback riding with the authenticity of the real thing. Riders will adapt to the same three-dimensional movements they’d experience if they were to engage in real-life hippotherapy.

Our solution? A safe, accessible, and affordable
device to be used in a clinic or home setting.

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