Every person who participates in one of our programs at StableStrides, such as physical, occupational, and speech therapy (POST), adaptive riding, or mental health therapy, comes with a unique story. It doesn’t matter what brought them to StableStrides; the majority of clients report improvement following the program, thanks to the benefits that the horses bring to therapy.
One of our young StableStrides clients was diagnosed with a functional neurological disorder, which means he required a wheelchair to get around. His occupational therapist from one of our partner agencies worked with him in the clinic and at home to increase his core strength and endurance. His goals were to get back to being able to do daily activities, with the ultimate goal of playing hockey.
I chose hippotherapy as a form of treatment because of the movement that the horse could provide for him as well as the emotional connection that I knew could lead to improved mental well-being.
When this particular client came for hippotherapy at StableStrides, he worked on the basics, like core strength and balance, by standing in the stirrups, doing sit-ups, yoga poses, and stretching. The therapists added recreational activities like basketball from horseback to improve his confidence while having fun.
This client’s care report went on to say, “The horse helped to simulate the sense of movement as you get when walking and gave input to fire muscles to start working and engage in strengthening. The horse also provided a strong emotional connection as they trusted in one another without judgment. His horse provided a calm and confident demeanor for co-regulation. He was able to get tactile feedback and provide care for the horse through brushing.” All benefits that he couldn’t get in a clinical setting.
How is he doing today? His therapist noted that he has surpassed all expectations and met his goals. He went from being in a wheelchair to now walking independently. His parents believe a massive part of his recovery is due to his hippotherapy intervention. His mother states that she saw him make gains after each session.
Tell Us How We Can Help You!
If you feel that you or someone you know could benefit from one of our equine-facilitated therapy programs, as this client did, please talk to your therapist or give us a call. Our mission is to significantly improve the well-being of individuals through a connection with horses. We believe that horses and the therapy they provide is an essential solution to strong and healthy individuals, families, and communities.