Children's Hippotherapy
Children's Hippotherapy
Child Physiotherapist Bristol
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Therapy doesn’t have to be sterile and clinical. It can be fun, it can be delivered in innovative ways. Hippotherapy and Nature-based Therapy are both perfect examples 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.



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Children's Hippotherapy

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 The Avon 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.

How we use Nature-Based Therapy

The benefits of being in nature are amazing, the team and I regularly use the woodlands and outdoor stables as way to create fun in our sessions. In addition to the fantastic mental health benefits found from being outside, we also see developments in children’s speech and language, motor skills, communication and understanding of the world around them. Working with this holistic approach, we are able to use the environment to provide intuitive and creative activities for physiotherapy.

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Curious, chatty and an all round cheeky chap! Usually the first to investigate new faces and equipment. Louie is sure to come and say Hi and is great for interaction, he is also really in tune with when children need some quiet time and will adjust his energy as his human session partner needs.

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Our tiniest member of the gang at just 6 hands high! Scoobie is gentle, patient and accepting. He is our go to for introductions, anxious clients and those who need a slower pace and forgiving attitude. He is perfect for our children and young people with more complex physical and sensory needs.

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Our little custard cream! Tom loves nothing more than a trip out into the woods. I’ve seen him navigate small spaces and steps with a spring in his step - he loves to be motivated and is great for our clients with social communication and sensory needs.

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The most likely to nip out for a party at any given moment, Boo loves an opportunity to explore and can often be found poking his nose over or under the gate to check out our sessions if he’s on a break! Boo reserves his energies for the children and young people who are the best match for him. He seems to know just who and when he’s needed and I love watching him come forward because when he does you can guarantee it’ll be a good match