Equine Assisted Activities and Therapy
The word hippotherapy is derived from the Greek word for horse, “hippos,” and literally means treatment with the help of the horse. It is an overall term used to describe the use of the horse in treatment to achieve functional outcomes. Hippotherapy has been used since the 1960’s in Europe, particularly in West Germany and Switzerland. The potential for individuals to benefit and succeed in riding was first noted when a polio survivor won an Olympic dressage medal in the post-World War II games.
Our licensed occupational and physical therapists use the three-dimensional movement of the horse as an additional therapy tool to aid clients in reaching their therapy goals. The combination of traditional therapy methods with the movement of the horse can result in improvement in motor coordination, muscle tone, postural alignment, stiffness/flexibility, gross and fine motor skills, and strength. Improvement can also be made in respiratory control, cognitive and sensory processing, and speech/language control. You can see why we feel our horses are just incredible! They bring so much to a session, including their love and encouragement, which is why we often see clients ride with big smiles, have an increase in self-confidence, and develop a special bond with their horses.
This program focuses on providing those with various diagnoses the opportunity to learn horseback riding and horsemanship skills, such as grooming, tacking, anatomy, and how to care for horses. Aside from learning these skills, those who participate in therapeutic riding can also experience an increase in balance, strength, confidence, and social skills. Our therapeutic riding instructors are certified through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.).
Horses Helping Veterans
A program designed to help meet the needs of service members, whether those needs are physical, emotional, or PTSD-related. Individuals have the option to participate in activities with the horse on the ground, ride, or do both. This program serves veterans as well as active duty individuals.
Horses of Hope
Plush horses with tags that read, “Good for one horse ride at Hope Therapy” are given to children at Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital and Wolfson Children’s Hospital. It is our heart’s desire that this gives them something to look forward to and encourages them as they continue to recover.
We host groups from schools and give them a tour of the farm, teach them a little about horses, and provide them with an activity that allows them to interact with the horses. Group visits allow students to get a feel for what happens on the farm, have a change of scenery, and the opportunity to learn and experience something new.