Summary of the Systematic Review


Different horse’s paces during hippotherapy on spatio-temporal parameters of gait in children with bilateral spastic cerebral palsy: A feasibility study

Antunes, Severo do Pinho, Kleiner, Salazar, Eltz, Alves de Oliveira Junior, Cechetti, Galli, Pagnussat

Research in Dev. Disabilities (2016)



Hippotherapy is often carried out for the rehabilitation of children with Cerebral Palsy (CP), with the horse riding at a walking pace. This study aimed to explore the immediate effects of a hippotherapy protocol using a walk-trot pace on spatio-temporal gait parameters and muscle tone in children with Bilateral Spastic CP (BS-CP). Ten children diagnosed with BS-CP and 10 healthy aged-matched children (reference group) took part in this study. The children with BS-CP underwent two sessions of hippotherapy for one week of washout between them. Two protocols (lasting 30min) were applied on separate days: Protocol 1: the horse's pace was a walking pace; and Protocol 2: the horse's pace was a walk-trot pace. Children from the reference group were not subjected to treatment. A wireless inertial measurement unit measured gait spatio-temporal parameters before and after each session. The Modified Ashworth Scale was applied for muscle tone measurement of hip adductors. The participants underwent the gait assessment on a path with surface irregularities (ecological context).


Physical Therapist 



Intervention Terminology


Study Design 

Pre/post w. control


20 children 


6-13 years 

Assessment/ Outcome measure tools

Modified Ashworth Scale; Gait Analysis

Result Category 

Spasticity, Gait

Dosage/Description of Intervention

30 minutes of walk only or 30 minutes of walk-trot