|Therapeutic riding, driving and
I sometimes use the horse's movement as a treatment tool in my physical therapy
practice. I have completed the Level 1 AHA level and am a NARHA registered
therapeutic Riding instructor.
I am currently conducting equine assisted physical therapy sessions at Loudoun
Therapeutic Riding Foundation at Morven Park in Leesburg ( www.ltrf.org ) in the
Spring and the Fall. I will be happy to discuss how it might be helpful to you or your
Below is a brief summary of what the different terms mean.
For an in depth look at the field of hippotherapy, consult the website of the American
Hippotherapy Association (american hippotherapy association).
For more information on therapeutic riding/driving, consult the website for the North
American Riding for the Handicapped Association at www.narha.org.
What is Hippotherapy?
Hippotherapy is only used by physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech
therapists. It uses the movements of the horse as a means to achieve their treatment
goals. It is tailored to the goals and needs of the patient, and uses horse leaders and
side walkers. The goal is never to learn how to ride, but to take advantage of the
unique type of movement a horse provides to improve the patient's outcomes . It is
often used to help children with cerebral palsy learn how to become more flexible, or
to use their back better, etc...
What is Therapeutic riding?
It is horse back riding adapted to the rider's abilities. The adaptation are varied,
helping everything from physical impairments, to mental challenges, and anything you
can think of. A certified Therapeutic riding instructor typically tailors the lessons to
the rider's abilities, using horse leaders and side walkers when necessary. The goal
being to create a lesson that is fun, challenging and safe for the rider, the horse and
the side walkers.
The horse leader and side walkers are typically volunteers without whom the
Therapeutic riding programs would not exist.
What is Therapeutic driving?
It is horse driving tailored to the abilities of the driver.
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