Whether Dressage, Barrel Racing or a simple trail walk,, therapeutic riding comes in a spectrum for every rider type!

Therapeutic riding is such a dynamic therapy because the movement of the horse gives the rider muscle and joint sensory stimulation in addition to other physiological and mental stimuli at the same time as the ride.

Therapeutic riding also affects the rider’s inner ear sensory receptors by giving them a sense of movement and balance. With the rider in contact with the horse, they also get tactile experiences that come from touching the hours or simply feeling its heat.

Riding allows for the therapist to give the rider instructions to follow to address their communications issues. The rider is also encouraged to direct the horse through the use of verbal communication is possible or the use of signs to communicate non-verbally.

Using the reins is a helpful physical aide for the rider that allows them to use squeezes and other physical actions to help direct the horse.

Hippotherapy vs. Therapeutic Riding

  • Hippotherapy does not always involve riding, or even touching a horse. It simply brings humans and carefully selected horses together to offer the natural therapeutic benefits to humans struggling with disabilities.
  • For many adults and children with severe autism, wherein the disorder allows for frequent and uncontrollable outbursts, riding a horse would be dangerous. Still, Hippotherapy can help even those living at such extremes.
  • Simply being around a horse can help boost mood, self-esteem, regulate energy levels, provide calm, and improve neurological disorders that regulate spasms and outbursts.
  • The motion of the horse in proximity with patients provides carefully graded motor and sensory input.
  • Often, while a patient is incapable of riding, they can still sit on the horse, which can offer a wide range of benefits.
  • For those patients who are able to ride, therapeutic riding is also put into practice as part of the therapeutic plan.
  • Thus, while Hippotherapy does not always include Therapeutic Riding, it can. Hippotherapy is the general term used for therapy provided by working with horses. Therapeutic Riding is a specific type of Hippotherapy and is available to patients with a wide range of disorders but who also have the capacity to control a horse while riding it.
  • It must also be noted that even small children who at first seem incapable of riding, may, through Hippotherapy, ultimately sit and ride a horse, gaining tremendous benefits from both.

Get Involved with HippoTherapy Helps Today

Interested in learning more about HippoTherapy for you or someone you love? Contact us today, and get the help you deserve. Donate to our mission and help both children and adults get this important therapy. You can sponsor a horse or choose another way to get involved with your donation.