Daily Archives: October 15, 2008

What the Heck Is Hippotherapy?

As part of my participation in Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-A-Thon on October 18th, I will be raising money to support a worthy, non profit charity: TRIPLE CREEK RANCH INC., Shasta County, Redding, California.

Triple Creek Ranch offers Equine Assisted Activities (including therapeutic horseback riding and Hippotherapy) to children and adults with physical, emotional, learning, and behavioral disability.

So what the heck IS Hippotherapy, you ask?

The American Hippotherapy Association (AHA) defines Hippotherapy as: “…a physical, occupational, and speech-language therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement as part of an integrated intervention program to achieve functional outcomes.” In layman’s terms, this means that the therapist uses the horse’s movement as a tool toward achieving therapy goals such as improving muscle tone, balance, posture, coordination, and motor development. Below are some photos of Hippotherapy in action at Triple Creek Ranch

6 year old Cherry arrives in a wheelchair – but begins smiling as soon as she sees the horses.

Riding Red helps the muscles of her trunk and legs grow stronger – and she learns the balance she needs to sit unsupported…

The warmth of the horse and gentle, rhythmic movement helps relax tight muscles and stretch out stiff body parts…

This is a team that has fun while they work on the skills to independence!

Volunteer Team Members (Left to Right): Wendy (Physical Therapist), Brian (Lead Walker), Terri  (Occupational Therapist) and Cherry (student extraordinaire)

Do you want to help children like Cherry gain strength, mobility, and balance while experiencing the joy of riding a horse? Please donate to Triple Creek Ranch! To learn how, visit my post about this fundraising effort. By participating, you can also enter to win a free book.