Hippotherapy is usually an individual session and the 'rider' often does not wear a hat as this may interfere and influence the movement and balance on the horse. Only a therapist trained and current in membership of the HPC (Health Professional Council) can offer this treatment within an RDA establishment.
Hippotherapy (from the Greek word hippos meaning horse) is a form of physiotherapy on horseback which uses the movement, warmth and rhythm of the horse to produce responses in a child or adult dependent on their needs. There is no intention to teach riding skills. The horses movement causes the rider to react in order to maintain posture and balance over a moving base. Each step the horse takes displaces the rider’s centre of gravity, challenging balance and strengthening the core muscles of the trunk. The three dimensional movement created in the sitting rider on a walking horse is very similar to the movements of the normal walking pattern. It is repeated over and over again as the horse walks. Studies have shown improved muscle tone and also an increase in functional abilities off the horse following a course of hippotherapy.
In hippotherapy we sit sideways, backwards or go on all fours and of course there is a challenge to achieve or assist with the position change.
All this takes place on a soft sheepskin pad and it is nearly always delivered as an individual session with a trained team of helpers. Best of all it is not physiotherapy or exercise, just fun on horseback! Only trained therapists can offer this treatment.
For access complete the application form. Following this an assessment will be offered by the physiotherapist.
Please note due to the numbers wanting to access this service it may be delivered in the future in blocks of 10-12 weeks with the opportunity of returning for further sessions.