“You don’t realize until you’re on there how much you have to use your entire body to balance, and that will challenge their balance. It will make them strengthen their trunk, back and front.”
Some therapy disciplines actually work together.
“I’m using the horse as a movement surface so I can get all the sensory systems working together, and that usually kicks in the speech.”
“If you look at speech and language development, it’s a very high cognitive, thinking type of skill, so you have to be able to meet them at a lower level and get rid of their fears and get rid of their inhibitions before they’re going to be able to talk. So by providing different opportunities for them to play on the horse, calms them down and gets them ready to be able to interact with words and gestures.”
“I’ve had two children in six years say their first word on the horse…non-verbal children.”
Apparently many ‘firsts’ are realized with hippo therapy.
“Because the way that the horse moves, it moves the pelvis of the child the same way, so kids that have never been able to walk, they get to experience walking for the first time.”
“When somebody’s riding a horse, there’s no way to tell if they have a disability because everybody’s the same when they get on the horse.”
Everyone was quick to thank local horse breeder Hank Bird for the use of his equestrian facilities.