As we delve into the treatments and benefits associated with horseback riding therapy, you’ll want to identify the difference between equine therapy and what hippotherapy is used for. This will guide you to your goal when you’re working with an individual with special needs or disabilities.
Horseback Riding Therapy
Horseback riding therapy has revealed improvement in many individuals. Research has shown that the walking gait of a horse is similar to that of a person, so the rhythmic movements can be calming. Horseback riding therapy is known to improve not only physical impairments but also cognitive ones. It’s not a cure-all, but growth, skill-building, and some incredible improvements all accompany this type of therapy.
Recent revolutions have given people the opportunity to receive this therapy without a live horse. Chariot Innovations offers a therapeutic riding horse simulator that creates the experience of horseback riding from the safety of a controlled environment. This allows an individual to build skills, starting at a low intensity and increasing as they improve. The technology also makes it easier to hold, spot, or support someone, without the uncertainty of trying to do so while a live animal is walking and the individual is high off of the ground.
The Uses of Equine Therapy
Equine therapy focuses majorly on the mental health of the individual riding. One can achieve psychological benefits with real horses by fostering a connection with them. In a therapy setting, the individual’s awareness of growth and changed abilities can enable improved mental health. They have the opportunity to connect with the facilitator as well. Additionally, when the individual notices strengthened speech or physical abilities and looks forward to a fun treatment session, their demeanor can improve.
The Uses of Hippotherapy
Many of the benefits of equine therapy can be associated with hippotherapy, which is often used for physical and occupational therapy. The MiraColt horseback riding equipment we provide makes it possible for individuals to pace themselves while developing strength and receiving benefits such as better respiratory control, postural symmetry, muscle gain, control over extremities, core strength, and motor skills, balance and flexibility, and endurance. Use of this machinery activates numerous muscle groups simultaneously and stimulates brain function.
In the end, the answer to the question, “What is hippotherapy used for?” is an impressive list of benefits that target the whole person. Understanding the two categories of horseback riding therapy will allow you to decide how to target specific inabilities or hindrances within an individual in need.