What is hippotherapy: features of this methodrehabilitation of children and adults

Update: October 2018

Child and adult disability occupies a separate place in
a number of social issues. For patients with limited
opportunities rehabilitation becomes daily work. Process
social adaptation of the personality of a disabled child who has
limited capacity, complex and durable.

This is due to the shortcomings of the intellectual and physical
development of the child himself, as well as with certain limitations in
social environment. One of the innovative methods of rehabilitation of persons with
Hippotherapy is a disability.

Distinctive features of hippotherapy

Hippotherapy is characterized by a number of additional benefits.
before traditional methods of rehabilitation treatment. how
variant of therapeutic physical culture, hippotherapy is based on
using the horse’s natural biological function – movement,
of great social importance. Rehabilitation using
hippotherapy is a complex effect on a person with
a different pathology, whereas the main restorative techniques
act one way.

Hippotherapy provides great prospects for recovery for individuals with
lack of function of the motor apparatus, helps to solve
the hardest psycho-pedagogical tasks, and also is
best practices for integration and psychosocial rehabilitation
disabled people.

The positive effect of hippotherapy on people with cerebral palsy

иппотерапияOne of the most significant influencing factors
horse riding is considered a coordination load. When on
horses formed a special pattern of fixation of the body. In the process
natural body retention in a straight, upright position
coordination plays a leading role, as well as muscle activity
back and pelvis. The man is held by the work of the adductor thigh muscles,
which fix the pelvis on the body of the animal or in the saddle. Stress on
leg muscles are governed by the degree of support of the foot on the stirrups – with
a strong degree of support the tension of the adductor muscles decreases, with
weak – increases.

Translational movements of the animal alter the load on the muscles
rider’s body and limbs directly involved in
retention on the horse, which is a natural element of training.
The load is symmetrical in all axes, which provides the same
the functioning of all muscle groups involved in retention
vertical position.

There are also effects on the muscular system involved
low-frequency oscillations emanating from the body of a moving animal.
These movements reduce the increased muscle tone and contribute to
as the amplitude of movement in the limbs, both upper and

Dosed, but the point load on the vestibular apparatus
carries the elements of training, stimulates its natural function. AT
eventually improved static-kinetic organization
motility, there is confidence in the movements.

Neurophysiological effects of oscillatory
animal movements on the vestibular analyzer, manifested
the amplification of conducting impulses along conductive paths. Thereby
deep structures of the brain are stimulated,
responsible for the functional state of the motor


Achieve significant corrections
motor disorders has a positive effect on
social and mental status of the disabled:

  • increases self-esteem
  • growing motivation for the entire rehabilitation process
  • increases life activity.

Thus, the rehabilitation of persons with cerebral palsy using hippotherapy
promotes more efficient and maximum possible
restoration of disturbed functions of the apparatus of motion.

Hippotherapy and its positive effect in various

The experience of hippotherapy proved the enormous role of this technique.
in becoming poses and movements. Patients find arbitrary
control over your own body, increasing voluntary attention,
muscle tone decreases, the vestibular apparatus is trained,
the possibility of vertical retention of the body and preservation

In the process езды на лошади в работу непроизвольно включаются
major muscle groups. It happens on the reflex
level When on лошади тело человека приходит в движение
together with the movement of the animal. Instinctively the human body
trying to maintain balance, thereby encouraging active work
both working and affected muscle groups.

Under the influence of such physical activity there is a colossal
strengthening the functioning of vegetative systems. At the same time hippotherapy
acts on the body through two factors: biomechanical and
psychogenic. The proportion of these mechanisms depends on the disease and
the tasks that rehabilitation should solve. So, during therapy
neurosis, mental retardation, cerebral palsy,
early autism the leading acting factor is psychogenic.
When recovering post-infarction patients, people with impaired
posture and scoliosis, osteochondrosis is the leading factor

WITH psychotherapeutic side of the relationship horse
is an:

  • a natural mediator in the dialogue hippotherapist-rider;
  • recipient and amplifier information (the animal’s reaction to
  • immediate response transmitter (horse obedience and
    execution of specific commands).

The use of hippotherapy for the rehabilitation of patients with
different types of mental disorders leads to
the following results:

  • General lethargy is removed;
  • Compulsive anxiety decreases;
  • There is an adaptation to real time and space;
  • Practical achievements of independence increase.

Criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of hippotherapy

Criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of hippotherapy условно подразделяют
into two groups: medical and social. Medical criteria:

  • Strengthening and special training of muscles. Simultaneous occurs
    stimulation of weak or non-working muscles and relaxation of groups
    muscular system, which are in a spastic state;
  • Strengthen the balance. Due to the need to keep
    balance throughout the entire session training takes place
    vestibular apparatus;
  • Improved coordination and orientation in space. During
    training the patient focuses on the site or in the arena,
    visual and instinctive associations arise. Hearing
    and hand-eye coordination;
  • Improving the psycho-emotional state, increasing the level
    self-esteem. During занятий уходит ощущение того, что человек
    sick and weak Thanks to being on horseback and driving
    animals formed a leadership note, improves mood and
    there is a desire to live and fight the disease. Besides,
    during riding there are no objects accompanying the disabled person
    in everyday life (walking stick, crutches, walkers, etc.) that
    brings a person closer to a relaxed stay in the world of healthy

Social criteria

  • Improving communication skills involved. During
    employment people communicate and work together with hippotherapists,
    staff and with each other;
  • Improving the quality and efficiency of the socialization process
    disabled through physical health, leveling
    psychological balance and emotional stabilization
  • Significant integration of persons with disabilities in society, expansion
    horizons of their capabilities, overcoming psychological barriers
  • The development of work skills in caring for a horse. For disabled people with
    mental retardation caring for an animal can turn into a profession
    stableman, which allows independent existence in
  • Development of cognitive activity. Need
    constantly concentrate attention when riding,
    focus, memorize certain actions activates
    mental processes.

Rehabilitation using hippotherapy has no age
restrictions. Contraindications to hippotherapy is very small.
Moreover, hippotherapy is allowed for the most complicated diseases,
when most rehabilitation techniques are contraindicated.

In conclusion, it should be noted that hippotherapy gives
unlimited recovery opportunities for sick people and
is a unique rehabilitation technique.

Автор: врач-гигиенист, эпидемиолог

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