Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Choosing a Therapy Horse

Horses used for hippotherapy are very special. They obviously need to have good temperaments and tolerate riders who make sounds, touch them and move awkwardly. The horse must be able to tolerate a busy environment filled with toys and other riders.

A good therapy horse has a rhythmic gait (regular footfalls) and is supple (bends and shifts balance smoothly). His body is symmetric and aligned straight.

A therapy horse must be able to follow the leader's directions to make transitions and change directions, tempo and speed.

Barbara Smith, M.S., OTR/L author of, The Recycling Occupational Therapist


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