Therapy doesn’t have to be sterile and clinical. It can be fun, it can be delivered in innovative ways, and Hippotherapy is the perfect example of that.
So what is hippotherapy?
It’s a form of Physiotherapy that uses the movement of a horse, in walk, to challenge the balance reactions and postural control of the rider.
Instead of a saddle we use a specially made therapy pad that allows the movement of the horse to be transmitted to the patient, and it’s seen as an effective treatment for children with conditions including Cerebral Palsy.
IT ALL STARTS WITH YOUR CHILD’S NEEDS
Every session is tailored to the needs of the rider. So we always start with a therapeutic assessment
From there we work through a variety of sitting and lying positions to support the development of balance and postural reactions from the head down. That means everything from sitting over the side of the horse to even sitting backwards facing the tail.
Each exercise is designed to help you understand and notice what head control and trunk control looks like, so we can start to create those building blocks for development, in a relaxed, fun environment.
How does it work?
Hippotherapy sessions are available at the Avon Riding Centre, an RDA group in Bristol. I work closely with a dedicated team of staff and specially trained volunteers, along with some incredible ponies to deliver treatment, either as part of my intensive therapy sessions, or through a bespoke Hippotherapy service.
Alongside the horses in the indoor arena, we also have a mechanical horse simulator that can be used for treatment too, based on the needs of the session. As a trained Equine Massage and Rehabilitation Therapist, and an experienced horse woman, the most important members of the Hippotherapy team are the horses themselves, and their welfare is paramount. And all are thoroughly assessed for their temperament, behaviour, movement and soundness before being selected for a session.