gina taylor, OT said...
Since this is in South America they have different safety standards and access to safety equipment. However, there are still some serious safety issues with backriding and being mounted without a helmet! I too, found the little girl standing interesting, but for different reasons- the horse was standing still!
I agree with Gina that backriding is quite risky. I never do it and the American Hippotherapy Association recommends NOT to do it. The therapist is most at risk of getting injured and the redistribution of weight can cause back problems for the horse. There are other ways to compensate for low muscle tone and weakness.
I often have my small children stand on the horse while the horse is standing stationary but still shifting around in place.. The horses where I work are so laid back they can stand in one spot for quite a while. Sometimes I have the child do fine-motor activities while standing on the stationary horse and the more advanced children may stand on top while the horse walks (with the therapist and sidewalker providing stability at the ankles and gait belt. I find it fascinating to see how hippotherapy is performed around the world.