Research on Hippotherapy Effects in Children whith Disabilities

Zamfir MARCHIS, Camelia RADUCU, Daniela LADOSI, Eugen JURCO, Aurelia COROIAN, Cristian Ovidiu COROIAN, Luciana PRATA, Simona JURCO


This paper presents a study on the interaction of children with special needs and horses, which attempts to demonstrate the effects of hipoterapy in helping children with disabilities. The research was conducted on a group of 20 children with disabilities who participated in this type of therapy for 8 months (January-August 2015) in Leorinţ Leisure Center and Riding Therapy, which owns 6 horses. This study was conducted by a psychologist pre- and post-evaluation and there were followed skills and cognitive function, motor skills, spatial-temporal orientation skills, sensory-perceptual organization, examining language and personality of children. In the first stage an initial assessment of children was made representing the starting point to see to what extent children are, what special needs they have and what gaps need to be recovered or what skills and qualities may be based in therapy. After 3 months of hippotherapy, in April 2015, there was made intermediar evaluation of beneficiaries to see if the intended results were achieved and where to optimise the therapy. The final evaluation was conducted in August 2015, after four months from the intermediar evaluation. Applying hippotherapy for children with various disabilities, it was found that children moving better, move better, speak more easily, communicate and become more careful. Besides outcomes of hippotherapy and results are measurable and easily to observe such as satisfaction to participate in hippotherapy sessions and getting  into contact with the horses.

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