Animal therapy has been used for many years, and within this category, equine therapy is one of the most widely used. Its benefits to the patient are at various levels.
Next, we will see what this type of therapy with horses consists of, its most important concepts and fundamentals, and its advantages.
What is equine therapy?
As its name suggests, equine therapy is a technique that consists of using horses as a central element to treat the patient. It is a complementary therapy that offers multiple benefits since being with an animal improves various aspects on an emotional level.
It is one of the most used because therapy with a horse is even better than dogs or other animals. In this case, being able to climb on top of the animal and walk together provides greater benefits at a sensitive level that we will detail later.
Physical improvements provided by equine therapy
As early as 1875, a French neurologist described that his patients showed some improvement when riding. However, it was not until 1969 in Mexico that equine therapy became known as such.
This technique’s main mechanism improves physical condition is through the vibrations that the horse creates when walking.
Furthermore, as the commands are given to the horse through gestures with the hands or feet, it also requires physical reinforcement and coordination. These stimuli that the patient receives are very similar to when humans walk. So your brain similarly interprets them, and it’s a way to start re-educating your nervous system.
From the improvement of the nervous system, we can start working on physical conditions. That’s when the mobility and strength benefits will appear.
On the other hand, riding a horse requires that the rider be upright and not fall.
Psychological benefits of equine therapy
Second, and not least, is the psychological condition of the patient. Therapy with any animal helps to reinforce the patient’s self-esteem, confidence, and mood.
However, being with horses, to all these attributes is added being outdoors. Performing therapy in the field, surrounded by nature and in the sun, also influences the psyche.
Therefore, we can say that it is a complete therapy on a psychological and sensitive level. Equine therapy offers many stimuli that help the person feel better about himself and stimulate his senses.
Ultimately, it is also worth mentioning the importance of equine therapy for people with behavioral disorders, such as autism, according to a study published in 2015. Working with animals under these conditions is also beneficial and can offer remarkable improvements for the patient.
A complete therapy physical
To conclude, the first thing to highlight is that equine therapy represents a complementary technique. It is an exciting element, especially for her functional limitations, motor disorders, or cerebral palsy. In this area, it is an effective technique whose benefits are still being studied today.
Do not think that it is something strange or that it is based on assumptions.
Give it a try. You will see how it ends up representing a great complement to the physical therapy and psychological and behavioral treatments you may be receiving … you will discover that animals are not only to be kept at home and caressed.