Hippotherapy and Multiple Sclerosis
Horseback Riding Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
What Does Hippotherapy Do for MS?
Studies have demonstrated that a horse’s pelvic motion has remarkable similarities to human walking patterns. Through hippotherapy, a rider adapts to those patterns through rhythmic repetition. Over time, the movements become reinforced behaviors, even when the person isn’t riding. Scientists have done extensive research to explore this phenomenon further, and there have been positive results suggesting that horseback riding does improve gait-related symptoms in multiple sclerosis.
One study compared two groups—one participated in traditional physical therapy while the other engaged in horseback riding therapy. The results of the study indicate that the latter had a more significant impact on balance and coordination. The research shows a strong relationship between hippotherapy and MS.