My mother in law is a cosmetologist, and apparently one of her clients does horse therapy in our area with special needs kids... Like went to school for it... Has anyone had any experience with this? What did you think? Likes? Dislikes? My daughter (7 years old) loves horses and I think would love just horseback riding lessons. The therapy is much more expensive which is ok, I just am not sure what it will teach her that she doesn't already know about animals/horses. I guess I'm trying to decide if… read more
My son has been doing hippotherapy for almost 5 years, since he was 3yo; he is nonverbal and a sense-seeker. He is interested in animals on shows, games, and as little plastic figurines, but mostly ignores actual live animals like our dog. He loves the hippotherapy and always looks forward to going... gets a huge smile and goes right over to the horse. Riding gives him big sensory inputs that really help get his brain organized, and trotting motivates him in particular. The therapeutic benefits in general have to do with sensory (propriocceptive and vestibular, but all the regular senses too) and gross motor function (the movement of the horse reminds the brain of a real cross-crawl pattern), but the synergistic benefit is much more. Nolan works with an OT who puts him on a horse for the first 30 minutes or so, then finishes with more traditional OT activities away from the arena, and he is much better able to concentrate and work for her than for anyone else. She pointed out that he works better with one specific horse whose vertical gait matches his sensory needs the best for more input, and she also gets more speech out of him than most therapists because he is highly motivated to participate (she is the only person who has ever gotten him to put two signs together).
Our 17 year old son just started a horseback riding and social skills group in California, called Trails to Success, and he loves it! He loves to relate to the horses, and feels relaxed in nature. He has been very happy with the experience and so have we! he has PDD-NOS and social anxiety issues so the group helps too.
We love horse therapy. Had a very calming effect on our son. Really helped his sensory issues.
It helped my daughter with sensory issues. The more she is able to deal with her sensory issues The more communication she develops.
I was a volunteer foreman at a equine therapy ranch. We had a way of allowing our horses to chose the child, rather than the child choosing the horse. We were all about safety. Your equine therapist should provide a helmet for your child. Your child at first will trained on how to mount the horse. Then your child while on the horse will be lead into arena and explain what to do. This is the way we did things. I may not be the same at the place your daughter will go , but that is the information I have.