Hippotherapy-art-Violette.doc - Hippotherapy A Therapeutic...

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Hippotherapy: A Therapeutic Treatment Strategy Authors: Kate Violette, PT, DPT, CSCS & Mary Ann Wilmarth, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, MTC, Cert. MDT Today in PT.com March 30 2009 In 2006, five U.S. soldiers and one airman, all with lower extremity amputations, were part of a pilot therapeutic riding program for wounded veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.1 Most therapists think of children with degenerative or neuromuscular disorders as the primary recipients of therapy on horseback. What researchers are finding, though, is that horseback riding can be beneficial for clients with many types of disabilities, including those with lower extremity amputation. A therapist involved with the study at Walter Reed reported he had seen the riders “find a whole new center of balance, and a whole new sense of control during the program.”1 The horse is symbolic of strength and power and has been an integral part of the development of the industrial world. The horse and human interaction is evident in sport or pleasure activities, law enforcement, agriculture, entertainment, and warfare. The first evidence of the use of horses in warfare is from more than 5,000 years ago, and the value of using horses in therapy has been known for generations. In the 1950s, Liz Hartel of Denmark won the silver medal in dressage at the Olympics after rehabilitating herself from polio using horseback riding and training. Since then, the use of horses in therapy became increasingly prevalent in the United States.2,3 Hippotherapy, a word of Greek origin meaning “treatment with the help of a horse,”2 is defined by the American Hippotherapy Association (AHA) as “a physical, occupational, and speech-language therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement as part of an integrated intervention program to achieve functional outcomes.”3 It consists of one-on-one treatment sessions with a patient and therapist. Therapeutic riding, often used interchangeably with hippotherapy, is a more general term and encompasses any activity on or around a horse that a person with a disability participates in, using a therapist as more of a consultant or supervisor. The North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) defines the group of horse-based activities as equine assisted activity and therapy.4 This group was founded in the U.S. in 1969 and was organized because of the increasing popularity of therapeutic riding and the evident need for a clearinghouse for this information.4 Today, NARHA continues to promote research and education in equine therapies, including hosting an annual four-day conference with nearly 700 national and international participants and publishing a quarterly publication, STRIDES.4 Hippotherapy is recognized by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), and the American Speech- Language- Hearing Association (ASHA), and also has its own body of representation.
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  • Spring '14
  • AntonioBaez
  • Physical Therapy, Hippotherapy, Therapeutic horseback riding, North American Riding for the Handicapped Association, Equine therapies

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