Therapeutic horse back riding is a treatment called Hippotherapy. The word “hippos” is Greek for the word horse. You’ll find this remarkable program available at Therapeutic Riding Stables.
In general terms, hippotherapy is where horses are used as a part of a treatment program in a variety of activities such as:
· Equine Assisted Therapy and Equine Assisted Learning which use the horses to help with emotional issues, build self-esteem and develop social and responsibility skills.
· Horsemanship and riding help individuals with disabilities strengthen their balance, coordination, posture and overall strength along with developing a sense of independence.
The benefits of Hippotherapy as
treatment is widely recognized and is a proven method of helping
individuals with physical and emotional limitations. With this form of
therapy, people with neurological, cognitive, emotional and physical
challenges have improved their lives considerably.
Equine Assisted Therapy is one of the top three equestrian activities in North America and parts of Europe. The therapeutic benefits of the horse were recognized many centuries ago and to this day continue to evolve.
With any form of treatment, it’s very important to find a certified therapist and an accredited therapeutic riding stable. Ask for credentials before embarking on any such program. A genuine equine facility will gladly show you their certificates of qualification.
A great place to get more information is the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA). The NARHA certifies instructors and therapeutic riding stables.
Through their accreditation and licensing system, therapeutic riding stables must demonstrate that they meet the requirements set by the NARHA with qualified therapists, therapeutic equine professionals, programs, horse care and suitability of the facility.
Therapeutic horse back riding offers the opportunity to improve overall health and increase quality of life. Sometimes just being in a therapeutic riding stable has a restorative effect on not only the individual but also the families and volunteers who attend.
Equine assisted therapy is worth exploring for so many reasons. So why not contact therapeutic riding stables and learn more about their programs. It could make a world of difference in your life or a loved one’s life.