The design and development of the MiraColt was inspired by the benefits of Hippotherapy as a treatment strategy that utilizes the sensory and neural stimulation impacts of riding a horse as part of therapy for individuals with neurological and other disabilities, such as autism, cerebral palsy, stroke, head injury, Parkinson’s disease and behavioral disorders.
Between 2016 to 2019, during the early years of development, the Talitha Koum Institute in Waco, Texas was among the first adopters of the device. The institute is focused on transforming the lives of young children having Autism, with a complex, multifaceted regimen of occupational and behavioral (ABA) therapeutic interventions. As a complementary tool to their therapeutic interventions, the MiraColt has added the opportunity to access the benefits of hippotherapy even in an environment where a horse is not accessible or possible.
The following is a testimonial from Susan Cowley, Founder of the Institute, celebrating the benefits derived from using the MiraColt as a complementary tool in intervening to help their children.
“Chariot [the MiraColt] has only been on the market for a couple of years. Talitha Koum is the first early childhood program to put Chariot [the MiraColt] into full gallop, meaning that we have integrated it fully into our sensorimotor program.
There are numerous studies regarding the positive effects of equine therapy [ hippotherapy or equine assisted therapy]. Certainly a percentage of those outcomes have to do with the child’s relationship to the horse. In the case of Chariot [the MiraColt] it is all about the sensorimotor input the child receives from riding this simulator… Our teachers are comparing the differences they are noticing now that “Horsie” [ the MiraColt] is in use each day, sometimes three times a day in our sensorimotor lab circuit.
A child who could not clap a rhythm is now able to, due to, learning while riding Horsie [the MiraColt]. He can now clap on the beat with his classmates. Why does it matter? Because rhythm goes to the later ability to read. Another child who could scarcely focus for three minutes returned after 7-minute Horsie [MiraColt] sessions to his classroom, happily sat down to his work, and finished his task. One little boy reaches a state of extreme calm only while riding Chariot [the MiraColt]. It is the magic sauce for helping him become ready for his daily nap.
Because we have 16 years of experience with trauma-affected children, we are able to segment the results of one type of intervention such as Chariot [the MiraColt], particularly when what we are seeing is dramatic as well as long-lasting. Our Nurture Center Director, Donna Losak, has said that Chariot [ the MiraColt] is a singularly critical piece of equipment that brings to the proprioceptive and vestibular sensory systems a type of input we would not be able to offer otherwise.”