Hippotherapy for Children with Birth Disorders

Why Does It Work?

When you ride a horse, it helps the child with cerebral palsy because of how the horse makes repeated movements that will help the child’s strength, control, posture, balance, endurance, sensory and social skills. Hippotherapy first started in the 1960s as a form of therapy in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Later, in the 1980s, it started to catch on in the United States. You have some great benefits that come with this type of therapy. Enhancing neurological and physical functioning has proven one of the best reasons for it.

Having Fun

One of the great things about hippotherapy is that it offers your child a fun and love of horses while teaching him a love of animals at the same time. Most doctors won’t recommend this form of treatment upfront because it is a lesser-known form of therapy, but if you speak to them, they will often tell you about it as an alternative therapy to help your child with his birth injury.

What Does a Session Look Like?

Before your child begins this form of therapy, the therapist will evaluate your child’s condition. He will look at his cognitive, emotional and physical strength to make sure that he will be right for this form of therapy. Next, he will consider if the child will need some accommodations as the child sits the horse. Before the session begins, the therapist will explain safety both to you and your child. He will also show you how to properly mount and dismount the horse. You will also learn what to expect as the horse moves. As the therapist walks alongside the horse, he will make adjustments with the horse as a way of ensuring the safety of the child. Each session will have a similar way about it, and the goal will be to help the child develop endurance and strength, but the therapist also wants him to have fun and develop confidence.

Considered an alternative form of therapy, this can help children who have a birth disorder. Before you begin, however, you should speak with your doctor to make sure that it will be the right choice for your child. With many of the horse farms, they will have a specialized area where this form of therapy will take place. Before your child can get approved for this, he will first need approval from the doctor and the therapist to rule out the potential for dangers.