"Grace has been receiving physical therapy since the age of two for poor muscle tone and gross motor development. After 3 months of Hippotherapy I witnessed improvements in her abilities at a rate not seen in any of the other techniques used in the home and clinical setting. The targeted muscle exercises in coordination with the movement of the horse have helped her develop improved body awareness, strength, coordination as well as self confidence.
Motivation is the key to success in working with children and Grace absolutely loves Tracey and all of the support she receives from the devoted volunteers. She has truly benefited from this program in more ways than I can explain."
is four years old with a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy. Her fine
and gross motor skills are significantly impaired. She is unable
to sit, stand or walk independently. Cierra has received several
types of therapy from the time she was an infant. I believe that
hippotherapy has been the most beneficial thus far.
have noted many improvements in Cierra's strength and balance
since participating in hippotherapy over this past year.
Maintaining a sitting balance while on the horse challenges her
muscles as nothing else does. The horse's movement forces her to
exert her strength and coordination to succeed in
"riding." When she is on the horse, she smiles and
talks. She doesn't recognize that her body is exerting itself,
she only knows she is having FUN!
I had to choose only one form of therapy for Cierra, it would be
hippotherapy. Not only do the horses offer a form of therapeutic
movement but, in Cierra's interaction with them, I have noticed
an emotional tie that promotes cognitive, speech, and emotional
development as well. The horse has no expectations of her
abilities and no recognition of her disabilities. By giving her
four legs to stand on, the horse lends Cierra movement and speed
that her body doesn't know. This inspires her to strive, to
accomplish, and to succeed. How do I know this? I am her
Mother... and I see it in her smile."
"I have been a volunteer in the hippo program for two years. I would strongly recommend volunteering. It only takes a few hours of your time but the rewards are immense not only for the children but for yourself. I have seen first hand what a difference the program makes to the children I have worked with and the smiles on their faces when they are on the horses will really warm your heart. One little girl I worked with, when she first came to the program would not talk, couldn't walk very well and was afraid of the horse. After a few sessions, she was smiling, talking and would come ready to ride her horse. What a difference the program has made on her. This summer she was running around the field with her sister and laughing. To see her and all the other children make such progress makes volunteering really worth while. People probably wonder how putting a child on a horse would make such a difference but I have seen for myself what amazing things it can do.
Please help us continue this great program."
~ Donna Stateczny