I cannot say enough good about hippotherapy. It has been down right miraculous in our lives!
Our daughter will do for a horse what she cannot be “begged, beaten, or bribed” into under any other circumstance. There have been things that we tried to get her to do in Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Speech Therapy that have been a big fat fail until a horse was involved. The idea that her beloved animal would be happy or saddened by her success or unwillingness to attempt has been enough to turn around her behavior and her attitude. It sparked speech that we’d heard none of, and it has continued to have amazing impact on her.The constant movement during the therapy session has had a HUGE impact on both her physical strength and her sensory defensiveness. When we miss one or two sessions due to illness, there is always a visible impact in both aspects. She will tire physically more quickly without that constant exercise and input. She has a terrible time dealing with new textures and new situations if we allow too long to go between sessions. It will actually affect her eating, for the same reason. If I were to be forced to decide on one single therapy for our daughter to receive, there would simply be no question. It covers and strengthens her in so very many different aspects and it’s nothing but positively extraordinary!
My child William is 9 years old and has been receiving various forms of therapies since he was six months old.When we started doing Hippotherapy my son loved it! Almost as quickly as we began I noticed how much stronger and much more balanced and what a sense of coordination he had. My husband and I were truly amazed at how quickly it seemed to happen. Will was able to sit on his own and then this enabled him to gain mobility by scooting around on his bottom. Something traditional therapies were not able to achieve. This is a testament to how effective I know this form of therapy is. In addition Nicole, the staff and the interaction with the horses and the amazing volunteers made this a wonderful experience for Will and my entire family.
Madelyn was born sixteen weeks early on April 29, 2000. She spent a long and rocky five months in the NICU and was discharged with many issues and diagnosis. Madelyn began traditional therapies immediately and she began to progress slowly as she struggled to meet her goals. After a few years, a friend suggested hippotherapy. Three weeks later, Maddy, began therapy and she loved it! Her speech began to improve immediately as her core strength and coordination continued to improve over time. Madelyn also grew in relationship with the horse as they “worked together” to help Maddy. This relationship was a powerful force that intensified her love for therapy which led to her rapid progress. It was amazing to witness her success through the awesome therapists and the love of a horse.
My son began hippotherapy after he was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2. He has continued on and off for over 7 years now and we could not be happier with the results! Jacob was nonverbal when he began and also had many tantrums out of frustration at not being able to communicate and with changes in routine. He has received both PT and OT on the horse in the past and currently. Over the years we have seen huge improvements in his verbal skills and also with adjusting to change. He has come so very far and there isn’t a doubt in my mind that a huge part of that is the hippotherapy he received. We have found that there is no substitute for the benefits of using a horse for therapy, we had to stop briefly during the past summer and noticed a definite difference without our favorite therapy and therapists!