The Possibilities Are Amazing
Increased range of motion and coordination
These are all things that start to happen when children start interacting with horses. We've seen kids who bounce off the walls be able to sit calmly with a horse or after a lesson.
After a few weeks of therapy, we witnessed a little girl with sensory issues who hated touch start to hug her horse. Then she started hugging everyone else.
Doctors have reported that after several weeks of therapy, their clients are performing tasks they didn't think possible.
Falling through the cracks
Equine-assisted therapy works well with most types of disabilities, but we have found it works particularly well with high-functioning kids who get passed over for other kinds of therapy and assistance. It provides them the opportunity to focus, to accomplish tasks, and to work with an animal that isn't judging them, just patiently waiting to be told how they should work together.
Animals bring joy to our lives and interact with children at a different level than people do. Horses are no exception. Equine therapy, or hippotherapy as it is also called (hippo means "horse" in Greek). The companionship, friendship, and work that they require from the child creates a partnership that motivates and inspires joy.
Lori Hall-McNary is EAGLA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) certified and CHA (Certified Horsemanship Association) Master Instructor. She is considered one of the best horseback instructors in the U.S. She can work with your physician, therapist, you, and your child to come up with a program for your child, and the horses will be happy to help!
A Mobile Therapy Horse
Then there is our mobile-therapy horse, Bunny. Bunny is a miniature horse, and she has been brilliant at going to places where people need comfort and assistance. She is happy to go just about anywhere that an elevator is not involved to just let people pet her, groom her, and just be with her. She is great at keeping people company.