Who can benefit?
There are many medical diagnosis and conditions that benefit from occupational therapy that utilizes equine movement (hippotherapy) and activities.
This is including but not limited to:
- Down Syndrome
- Cerebral Palsy
- Cerebrovascular Accident (Stroke)
- Sensory Integration disorders
- Developmental Delays
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Genetic Disorders
- Multiple Sclerosis
Occupational Therapy is a function based skilled therapy focusing on the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social aspects of the individual and how dysfunction in one or more of those areas impact their participation and success in daily life. Thus, equine centered OT is appropriate and effective for individuals across the lifespan with injury, illness, and/or disability.
Occupational therapists utilize many treatment strategies and tools to help improve function for clients with a vast range of impairments. This includes the use of the movement of the horse (known as hippotherapy), and other equine related activities to influence balance, posture, executive functioning, sensory processing, and the overall function of the individual. In this type of therapy and setting, the focus is not on learning equestrian type skills, but reaching functional goals related to the physical, emotional, mental, or social capacities of the individual.