Physical, Occupational & Speech Therapy
Physical, Occupational & Speech Therapy is a powerful treatment strategy that utilizes the movement of the horse as a strategic intervention to address a variety of disabilities.
A licensed and specially trained Physical (PT), Occupational (OT), or Speech Therapist (ST) conducts our therapy services, in combination with a certified PATH International Therapeutic Riding Instructor. During a treatment session, the movement of the horse, position of the client, equipment, and types of activities used are monitored, analyzed, and modified by the therapist to promote the best functional outcomes. Horse movement may be one of many treatment strategies used by the treating therapist.
When a horse walks, it mimics the way a human walks. A horse’s stride is similar to the length of a human stride, and their hips move in a similar motion to humans hips. This provides a three-dimension movement (front/back, left/right, up/down) that is difficult to replicate in the traditional therapy setting. For those who are unable to walk or who do not have a sound walk, they can ride a horse and receive the same physical and neurological stimulation walking would typically provide. Riding a horse also helps to open up airways and expand the lungs. This has led to clients who have never spoken speak their first words on the back of a horse.