Integrative Benefits of Hippotherapy

Open Access
Author:
Brown, Megan Grady
Area of Honors:
Communication Sciences and Disorders
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Krista M Wilkinson, Thesis Supervisor
  • Ingrid Maria Blood, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • Hippotherapy
  • equine therapy
  • horse
  • integration
  • parent perspective
Abstract:
With rising healthcare costs, professionals are searching for the most effective manner in which to provide services to clients. In the past, research has categorized services into three main areas, physical, occupational, and speech therapy, and delivered services separately. Hippotherapy, or horse therapy, is a new unexplored form of therapy. Hippotherapy simultaneously places cognitive, physical, and emotional demands on participants. By doing so, hippotherapy has the potential to integrate demands from various therapies and address them through one service. The existing literature and research is anecdotal and mainly from the perspective of the rider, often a child. This study interviewed ten parents of children with disabilities, whom are participating in hippotherapy. The goal of this paper is to combine and describe the commonalities in those existing anecdotes and compare them with the themes pulled from the ten interviews in order to accurately portray parents’ perspectives on the potential integrative benefits of hippotherapy for children with disabilities.