Hippotherapy uses the three dimensional movement of the horse’s hips, pelvis and shoulders at the walk to provide a movement challenge to the rider.
Sessions are under the direction of a physiotherapist specifically trained in this method of treatment. The rider sits astride a horse, led by an experienced horse person and accompanied by two side walkers. Perhaps one of the reasons for the success of hippotherapy is this team approach. The client makes no attempt to ride the horse but plays their part by actively responding to and interacting with the horse’s movement.
The motion of the horse transfers movement patterns to the rider’s lumbar (lower) spine and pelvic regions. This movement is very similar to the movement produced in ‘normal walking’; per minute a full sized adult horse at walk transfers 110 multidimensional swinging motions to the rider.