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An Overview of Hippotherapy

An Overview of Hippotherapy
By Dr. Suzanne Cleland-Zamudio

When executed in a nurturing, safe, and professional environment, hippotherapy, a treatment strategy that involves riding horses to improve a patient’s overall condition, helps in treating neurological and sensory conditions in impaired individuals. Unlike therapeutic riding, during which riders are taught specific skills, hippotherapy centers on the horse’s dynamic movements, which mimic the gait of humans, as a means of therapy.

Effective in adults and children, hippotherapy offers benefits that few can deny. Hippotherapy has been shown to improve muscle tone, strength, coordination, and balance response, among other issues. Furthermore, it can aid in the treatment of a broad range of conditions, including autism, Down syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and even stroke and Alzheimer’s.

About the Author:
Dr. Suzanne Cleland-Zamudio founded Sycamore Lane Therapeutic Riding Center in 2008 to help impaired children and adults through hippotherapy and therapeutic riding. She also serves as a board-certified Doctor of Otolaryngology at Portland Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists.

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