Saddle Up! Therapeutic Riding in Franklin, Tennessee has utilized the MiraColt since 2019. Saddle Up! is a PATH International Premier Accredited Center which provides high quality programs in the field of equine-assisted services and therapies. The MiraColt allows Saddle Up! to carry out their mission statement of providing children and youth with disabilities the opportunity to grow and develop. While the center believes nothing can compare to the power of the horse, it has found the MiraColt to be useful in situations where the therapist cannot maintain the control they need on a live horse.
Sandra Zaccari, one of the physical therapists on site, puts the MiraColt to use in multiple ways: for warmup activities, working a patient up to a real horse, and as a primary tool in therapy practices. She has used the device to serve individuals with Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida, and Cerebral Palsy. Sandra enjoys the flexibility and adjustability of the MiraColt to adapt to the specific needs of her patients. For example, she has found that patients with a lower muscle tone/spasticity should be using the device at higher speeds to increase awareness.
Sandra enjoys being able to superimpose other gains and make therapy a fun and engaging experience for her patients. The versatility of the device allows for different riding styles to support different activities and games played on the device. Some of the fan favorites include reaching for bubbles and puzzle pieces across a midline in different positions including kneeling.
Some of the improvements Sandra has witnessed first-hand over the years include better sitting and standing balance, and walking ability. Because of the device’s rhythmicity, the organic movement also has a relaxing and calming effect on those who are hypersensitive to movement (i.e. patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder).