Developmental Delay


Meregillano, G.

Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am (2004) 


Hippotherapy refers to the use of the movement of the horse as a treatment tool by physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language therapists to address impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities in clients with neuro musculoskeletal dysfunction, such as cerebral palsy. Hippotherapy is used as part of an integrated treatment program to achieve functional outcomes. Hippotherapy engages the client in activities on the horse that are enjoyable and challenging. In the controlled hippotherapy environment, the therapist modifies the horse's movement and carefully grades sensory input, establishing a foundation for improved neurologic function and sensory processing. This foundation can be generalized to a wide range of daily activities, making the horse a valuable therapeutic tool for rehabilitation.


These results indicate that hippotherapy sessions are a very effective way to improve physical function, strength and coordination in children who have been diagnosed with any type of developmental delay or disorder.