The Principles of Hippotherapy (the use of a horse to obtain desired patient response) include:
- The horse’s movement promotes active responses in the patient.
- Variations in the horse’s movement, as directed by the therapists, promote variations in the patient’s response.
- Patient responses are intended to affect function.
Specific Benefits of Hippotherapy include:
- Balance strategies
- Belief in one’s functional capabilities
- Bilateral integration
- Body awareness
- Dynamic postural stability
- Midline orientation
- Mobility of pelvis, spine, and hip joints
- Modification of muscle tonus
- Muscle strength
- Musculoskeletal alignment
- Neuromotor function
- Problem-solving movement strategies
- Respiratory function
- Sensorimotor integration
- Symmetry and alignment
- Timing and coordination of motor strategies
From AHA, Inc. Hippotherapy Treatment Principles Level I Manual, copyrighted 2015 5th edition.