Despite first impressions this program does not involve the hippopotamus. “Hippo” is the Greek word for horse therefore Hippotherapy (Equine Facillitated Therapy) is treatment or therapy aided by a horse.
Hippotherapy is carried our by specially trained physical, occupational and speech therapists who work in partnership with HorsePower Australia coaches and specially trained volunteers to use the movement of the horse to influence the participant.
Hippotherapy is the medical application of the horse in therapy. The movement of the horse makes Hippotherapy unique in comparrison to other equine-assisted activiites. The horse's unique multi-dimensional walk transfers variable, repetitive and rhythmic movement to the participant, which provides sensory input to the brain and nervous system. The resultant responses in the participant are similar to the human movement patterns of the pelvis while walking. During a session the therapist, working in partnership with a HorsePower Australia horse handler, can analyse and adapt this movement to provide increased challenges for the participant.
The horse provides a dynamic base of support, making it an excellent tool for therapy, increasing core stength, control, balance, and posture which can all lead to the development of fine motor skills and bilateral co-ordination.
Hippotherapy is a one-to-one hands on intervention program where the therapist works with the participant and the horse to achieve functional outcomes. The sessions are much more enjoyable than traditional forms of therapy and the interaction with the horse often motivates the participant to actively participate in their treatment. The HorsePower Australia setting is an ideal place to achieve theapeutic goals.
HorsePower Australia is proud to be an Associate member of Horses In Education and Therapy International (HETI)