Hippotherapy is a therapy strategy implemented by health professionals in which the horse is involved in the process, aimed at improving the neuromotor, sensory, cognitive, and psychosocial functions of the consultant.
Riding skills are not taught in hippotherapy practices. Instead, therapy programs have been implemented that support the client's health and learning processes.
Cerebral Palsy, Autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, multiple sclerosis, balance and movement disorders, Speech and Language Disorders, Neuropsychological Disorders, Post-Traumatic Disorders, Behavioral Disorders, Anxiety, Depression, Addiction...
The general effects of hippotherapy, along with varying according to the client's condition and the goal of therapy, are:
- Improvement in balance and posture
- Development of Motor skills
- Increase in tactile, sensory, visual, auditory stimuli
- Improvement in respiratory function
- Development of communication and social skills
- Positive effect on cognitive abilities
- Increase in self-confidence, self-esteem, and motivation
A professional and multidisciplinary team approach in hippotherapy practice is vital to achieving the goal of treatment.
Therapists who are hippotherapy practitioners are health professionals who have received relevant hippotherapy training (physiotherapist, ergotherapist, language and speech therapist, psychologist...). The horse trainer is responsible for the training and administration of therapy horses, and the veterinarian is responsible for maintaining the health of therapy horses.