The Rein-Bow Riding Academy is a place of promise, where individuals with varying abilities receive innovative therapy while riding a horse. The term hippotherapy comes from the Greek word "hippos" meaning horse; thus the term literally means treatment with the help of the horse.
How Hippotherapy Works
A horse's gait provides sensory stimulation for the patient as he rides. The movement the body makes while riding a horse mimics the patterns humans naturally make when they walk. Thus, the rider's muscles benefit from the rythmic and repetitive movements in the horse's gait. During the ride, sensory messages are relayed to the rider's brain to coordinate muscle movement in order to maintain balance. The end result is improved functionality for the patient.
During a hippotherapy session, a specially trained therapist uses the horse as a therapeutic tool to achieve the client's therapy goals such as improving balance or muscle coordination. Therapeutic riding is another form of therapy that allows patients to increase their emotional and social well being with a goal of the rider controlling the horse on their own.
Some of the patients benefiting from hippotherapy have medical conditions such as:
Abnormal muscle tone
Sensory Integration Disorders
Traumatic brain injury/stroke
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Impaired balance responses
Hippotherapy benefits patients of all ages and the ability to walk is not necessary to participate in the program.