How horses affect the health and psyche of people.

A horse is an amazing creature. It has been a loyal and reliable friend of man since ancient times. Even then, people noted the positive effect of horses on human health not only from the physical side but also from the psychological side. That is why rehabilitation centers based on hippotherapy have been actively created all over the world. Treatment with the help of a horse has been used for many years, and the effectiveness of such interaction has been proven all over the world.

A lot of people nowadays are becoming volunteers for many reasons. For some, helping animals is a way to get rid of loneliness and bad mood, while someone’s soul aches for homeless animals, and they simply cannot remain an indifferent observer. Some people choose an animal shelter part-time job, monitoring their health and growing numbers. It turns out that volunteering to help animals is a great way to make yourself and our smaller brothers happier. However, animals and horses, in particular, can help people no less, having a positive impact on their healing process.

What is hippotherapy?

This term came to us from the ancient Greek dictionary and implies rehabilitation by riding. Hippocrates also noted in his scientific works that horse riding occupies the first place among physical exercises, and with its help, it is possible not only to treat various diseases but also to prevent them.

Even after a half-hour ride, the patient’s gait improves significantly. In this situation, almost all muscle groups of the back, trunk, and extremities are involved, which helps to reduce the spasticity of the thigh muscles and increase the dilution of the legs in the hip joints. This is because the body temperature of a horse is 1.5–2 degrees higher than that of a human, and the movements of the muscles of the back of a moving animal warm up and massage the spastic muscles of the rider’s legs, which improves blood circulation in the lower extremities, pelvic organs, and the body as a whole. Improving blood flow usually promotes blood flow to the brain.

In the process of such treatment, the patient experiences almost no discomfort and pain, so this method is especially effective for the treatment of children. In addition, in the process of communicating with the horse, both adults and children get a lot of emotions and pleasure, which encourages them to practice again and again.

Hippotherapy is an innovative technology of social work for people with disabilities, providing a comprehensive method of recovery. Even though hippotherapy meets the requirements of the new social model of rehabilitation, unfortunately, its availability is still limited by a lack of information and a lack of specialists with a high level of competence.


Who is suitable for hippotherapy

Therapeutic horse riding classes are suitable for everyone – both adults and children. At the same time, they will benefit both people suffering from serious illnesses and people with no pronounced physical or mental disorders. Diseases of moderate severity make it possible to engage in therapy – therapeutic horseback riding, in which the riders themselves control the horse with minimal help from an instructor.

Benefits of hippotherapy

Communication with such wonderful and intelligent creatures is beneficial in itself. With hippotherapy, people do not have the feeling that they are being treated. During contact with the horse, they are charged with positive energy and strive for classes themselves, which is just necessary for recovery.

An important psychological aspect is that when interacting with horses, people free up and become more confident in themselves. In addition, people can compensate for the lack of communication, since not all people are as kind as animals. It is more difficult for “special” people to find real and loyal friends. There is a lot of competition and malevolence in the modern world, but it is interaction with an animal that can give a person sincere friendship, love, and affection. In addition, communication with a horse does not always imply live speech, which is difficult for many people. The horse picks up tactile signals of a person – his movements, smell, and mood. Paradoxical as it may sound, the animal understands a person even better than a human understands the animal.

And horseback riding develops courage and bravery. Not every healthy person decides to ride a horse. And when a sick child or adult rides, they commit a courageous act, proving to the whole world that they can overcome their illness and achieve great results. Because while riding, they forget about their weaknesses and illnesses and feel strong and brave, being able to control such a large and graceful animal.

Hippotherapy helps people with disabilities to feel full, alive, and needed by someone else. And this is the most important medicine for them.


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