THRIVE SPEECH THERAPY
Pediatric Speech & Language Therapy
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Our Hippotherapy services are provided at Equine International Stables 13210 Creekway Dr, Cypress, TX 77429
Hippotherapy may be covered in the same way as typical speech therapy services.
To schedule an appointment or find out more information please call
What is Hippotherapy?
Hippotherapy is a tool used by professionals such as speech therapists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists. They intentionally manipulate, and integrate equine movement into therapy sessions to engage neuromotor, sensory, and cognitive systems to promote functional outcomes for clients.
Benefits of Hippotherapy
The client receives external feedback from the environment and from the horse (sight, smell, sounds) and they receive internal feedback from the movement of the horse. This creates a feedback loop between horse and client as the horse lends their rhythmic, patterned movement to the client, and the client’s body adjusts to the movement, finding balance and cadence with the horse’s footfalls.
Because we all have systems that seek balance, people of all cognitive and physical abilities benefit from the movement and input that our equine friends provide.
Who Can Benefit?
Everyone can benefit from the movement of the horse, however, the following groups have shown the greatest impact from receiving speech, occupational, or physical therapy while astride a horse.
The organized, consistent, repetitive movement of the horse positively affects:
• The sensory system – visual, proprioceptive, and vestibular
• Cognitive functions – increasing states of arousal, autonomy, and focus. As well as increased input from the movement of the horse.
• Postural control systems – which work to keep us upright, balanced, and oriented as we move through our environment.
• Language, Communication, and Speech motor plans – the ability to speak is a motor plan that can be interrupted if the individual is unable to process the feedback received from the mouth and respiratory system. The movement of the horse helps improve respiration and input throughout the body, including the mouth, jaw, and tongue, thereby helping to improve overall communication.
There are several ways in which hippotherapy can encourage language production.
Links to Articles and Research