What is hippotherapy (Greek "hippos" - horse; therapy with horses) - multifunctional rehabilitation method that combines medicine, psychology, pedagogy (correctional medicine, defectology). This method is recognized for its rehabilitating effect on patients with physical and mental disorders. This method can be used for cardiac, gastrointestinal problems, for various disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Since ancient times, beneficial effect of horse riding and communication with horses is well-known to humankind. Hippocrates, the ancient physician claimed that the wounded and the sick recover faster and with greater success if they ride.
Nowadays hippotherapy is widely used as particularly effective in the rehabilitation of children with cerebral palsy, autism, Down's syndrome, psychic and verbal development problems, neurasthenia and others.
How it works?
Hippotherapy, in fact, is a special form of physiotherapy. A live horse performs a role of a special equipment, ensuring simultaneous activation of almost all groups of muscles in the rider's body. This is happening on the reflex level, because sitting on the horse, the patient has to move in different directions (up-down, right - left, front-back), throughout the entire session, unconsciously trying to keep the balance to keep on the horse, thus activating both healthy and disabled muscles of the body. The horse's body temperature is two degrees higher than human, so when riding bareback, the rider's muscles warm up, thereby increasing circulation, improving vegetative system functioning. Such is the neurophysiological impact of hippotherapy.
In addition, the child experiences a huge desire to get on a horse, to feel like a rider, to overcome fear, to gain self-confidence. This motivation strongly mobilizes volitional activity, thus not just overcoming fear, but at the same time reducing the number and volume at hyperkinetic (CP), which, in turn, makes it possible to teach the patient the correct construction of the main behavioural background, increases self-esteem.
How do we operate?
Classes are held in the open riding rink in the warmer months, whereas for the autumn-winter period we have an indoor rink. We use specially selected horses trained for hippotherapy. The sessions are held under supervision of Galina Zakharova - a professional hippotherapist, with over 10 years of practical experience in psychology. (Internship in Israel, in 2013 on integration and rehabilitation of disabled children).
Each session lasts 20-30 minutes, the duration of the course is 10-20 sessions (the total number of courses and the training program are selected individually, depending on the patient's actual diagnosis and his/her needs)
Admission to a rehabilitation course is by referral from the doctor