Hippotherapy is a medical treatment strategy delivered by a Speech-Language, Occupational, Physical, or Psychotherapy professional that uses the rhythm and movement of a horse to help patients with autism, asperger’s, stuttering, and other disorders (more listed below).
Hippotherapy should not be confused with therapeutic or recreational riding. Although these services may also be therapeutic in nature, the difference between them and hippotherapy is that hippotherapy is a treatment strategy ONLY, used in conjunction with traditional therapy tasks.
Hippotherapy can be provided only by certified professionals in their particular fields: Speech-Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy or Psychotherapy. Hippotherapy and therapeutic riding often co-exist effectively for many patients of all ages.
Horsetalk offers a comprehensive team approach to horse assisted therapy that is unprecedented in New Hampshire to date.
"WOW, I can't believe the difference in Becky after HIPPO, what a different child!" Becky is a five year old with Cystic Fibrosis, ADHD and significant developmental delay.
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In Hippotherapy, the multi-dimensional movement of the horse provides "input" to the patient along anterior, posterior, lateral, and rotational planes. The horse's graded amount of movement facilitates an organized state of arousal - bringing arousal and attention up or down to a more productive level for teaching. This then affects muscle tone / function, posture, respiration, and stimulation of the cortical pathways. The result in speech-language therapy can be a child's first spoken words, elimination of stuttering, improved speech production, improved vocal projection, and more efficient language input and output. In other areas of therapy, motor development and balance, such as better body awareness, grasping skills, and core strengthening for walking and running is experienced.
The movement of the horse, with the help of the "horse leader" provides a graded amount of movement depending on each patient's need. Some patients require more input, some less, and some require changes in speed, direction, height (up or down hill) and terrain (gravel vs. grass).
When the horse's movement is combined with traditional Speech-Language, Occupational, Physical, or Psychotherapy intervention techniques, hippotherapy becomes a uniquely powerful tool for patients with:
Want to know More? See: "Why a Horse? "
- pervasive developmental disorders
- aspergers syndrome
- social - interactional dysfunction
- receptive / expressive language disorders
- auditory processing disorders
- language learning disabilities
- oral motor disorders
- voice disorders
- motor coordination disorder
- metabolic disorder
- movement syndromes
- cerebral palsy
- head trauma
- psychological disorders
- Down Syndrome