Equine Assisted Therapy for Children
Help your child develop speech, physical, and occupational skills through equine assisted therapy.
Equine assisted therapy is a form of therapy that uses a horse’s movements to engage sensory, neuromotor, and cognitive systems. Studies show that equine assisted therapy for children provides both physical and emotional benefits.
Common Questions About Equine Assisted Therapy for Children
How does equine assisted therapy help with speech?
Equine assisted therapy was originally used to help with physical disabilities, but studies show that this form of therapy can also help improve speech. For children, the opportunity to ride a horse on a regular basis creates enthusiasm that can lead to vocalization.
How does equine assisted therapy help with physical skills?
Children with injuries or physical delays can especially benefit from equine assisted therapy. For example, for children who are struggling to walk, equine assisted therapy is an opportunity to experience what walking “should” feel like. Horses have rhythmic, repetitive gaits—just like people—and riding a horse can help children better understand how their muscles should work when they walk.
How does equine assisted therapy help with occupational skills?
At WeeSpeak, the goal of occupational therapy is to improve a child’s motor skills. Equine assisted therapy is an excellent complement to occupational therapy because equine assisted therapy gives kids a fun opportunity to practice their motor skills. For example, as the horse moves, a child may have to adjust the reins or tense his/her muscles to balance on the horse.
Could your child benefit from equine assisted therapy?
Your child may benefit from equine assisted therapy if he/she is experiencing any of the following:
- Frustration with clinical or traditional therapy. Equine assisted therapy is a great way to get kids outside and make therapy fun.
- Poor body awareness (bumps into things, trouble sitting in chairs, tends to lean, etc.).
- Difficulty communicating.
- Tends to avoid activities that require sitting for long periods, such as coloring.