Karma Anais wrote:
I am always concerned about braces used during hippotherapy and the possibility of micro-trauma to the spine above and/or below the brace. I am more supportive of alternative positioning for children with poor trunk control if they are appropriate for treatment that utilizes equine movement.
I agree that its good to consider whether or not a child with low tone and poor head control is a good candidate and the effects of any bracing. All of the children where I work have had clearance with their doctors and sometimes the parents are surprised that I question whether or not they should be riding.
I have seen therapists riding tandem (both on the horse) during sessions and the child looks nicely supported. But the American Hippotherapy Association does not recommend riding tandem due to increased possibility of injury to the therapy and stress on the horse since the therapist's weight has been shifted further back.