Hippotherapy for Children
Common Questions About Hippotherapy for Children
How does hippotherapy help with speech?
Hippotherapy 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 hippotherapy help with physical skills?
Children with injuries or physical delays can especially benefit from hippotherapy. For example, for children who are struggling to walk, hippotherapy 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 hippotherapy help with occupational skills?
At WeeSpeak, the goal of occupational therapy is to improve a child’s motor skills. Hippotherapy is an excellent complement to occupational therapy because hippotherapy 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 hippotherapy?
Your child may benefit from hippotherapy if he/she is experiencing any of the following:
- Frustration with clinical or traditional therapy. Hippotherapy 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.