By equine therapy we mean the word “Equus”: horse and therapy: treat.
Equitherapy is therapy using horses. In other words, equine therapy is a way of treating a patient through the horse and not the other way around. It is in fact a psychocorporeal treatment aimed at treating cognitive symptoms, conditions such as anxiety, speech delays or certain mental disorders.
The activity in equitherapy consists of three parts; two people and one animal, namely the therapist, the patient and the horse.
In fact, the horse is at the heart of the therapy, as a very sociable and sensitive animal, which allows it to be close to humans and can therefore help them to validate their well-being.
As Sophie Olivetti-Ciry said: “The horse is a mirror of emotions and therefore a mediator of the expression of emotions”.
What do the riding therapy sessions include?
As with any therapy, the therapist must have a preliminary discussion with the patient before the sessions begin. This allows him a psychological assessment taking into account his needs.
And like any therapy, the duration of the sessions depends on the pathology of the patient.
Once the problem has been mastered by the therapist, the sessions take place in places often dedicated to learning to ride.
Sessions take many forms, not just on horseback, but always with the horse. They can also consist of:
Brush the horse to introduce yourself and make contact and build an affective relationship. Riding for physical contact with him. Take him for a walk while diving. Go for a walk with him. Communicate freely with him.
Please note that not all horses are therapy horses.
Who is affected by the practice of horse therapy?
The practice of horse therapy is aimed at all people from the age of 2 who are confronted with physical, mental, linguistic or behavioral difficulties.
And especially for people on the autism spectrum.
Unlike horseback riding, the contraindications for horse therapy are fewer. However, it should be noted that the persons listed below are not authorized to practice horseback riding:
People who are allergic to horse hair or hay, people with neck problems, people with epilepsy and people with behavioral issues around horses.
How do you choose your equine therapist?
Many therapists; not all equitherapists!
So pay attention to the choice of the person who accompanies you.
The profession is not regulated, but in order to choose the right therapist, it must at least be ensured that they have a medical, socio-medical or paramedical diploma. These diplomas are awarded after training in a specialized institute and minimum experience in the practice of riding and equine therapy.
The benefits of equine therapy
The field of intervention of equitherapists is very large. Many are interested in it and find spectacular results with no age limit.
For example, in children, horse therapy can improve mental or psychological problems such as speech delays, certain behavioral disorders, severe anxiety, mental retardation, etc.
In general, equine therapy has several advantages, among which we can highlight:
It is practiced to highlight the patient, to allow him to better manage his emotions and his self-confidence. It’s also useful to be much more comfortable socially and to embrace fluidity in communication.
Physical or Body Benefits:
Focusing more on correct posture, the Equitherapist can also integrate flexibility, gross motor skills, tone, but also the awakening of the senses.
Equitherapy allows for better treatment of autism while also being a good source of relief for the autistic patient. The Equitherapist, feeling much more comfortable in their session, will prefer more activities for better socialization, leading to better communication.
* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.
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