Horses and Humans - What Everyone Should Know About Hippotherapy

chellangloStarred Page By chellanglo, 12th Jun 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Alternative Medicine

The numbers of children being diagnosed with autism are skyrocketing. But there is a growing number of parents of autistic children who are turning to Hippotherapy in place of standard therapies that have largely proven little to no success. And they are loving the results.

Studies and Statistics

Over the last decade we have watched the rise in Autism soar to 1 out of 150 children nationwide, forcing medical research to make greater strides to find out what is the cause, to develop therapies and medications, and ultimately to find a cure. The Centers Of Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 3357 babies are born with Down Syndrome each year.

The more reading and studies one is willing to do the more one will learn that there is an amazing phenomena that takes place between animals and children with Autism and other cognitive disorders. There is a special connection, a special understanding between them.

And Windridge Was Born

There are programs where these children work to develop needed skills via integration therapy with dolphins and dogs and other kinds of animals. Then one day a Margo Dewkett sat out to develop a therapeutic program involving humans and horses, and Windridge Therapeutic Equestrian Center of East Texas was born.

Windridge was founded in 1988. It is a “premier accredited center” with the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA). It is one out of only 28 of its kind. It’s state-of-the-art facility houses seven programs for those with cognitive, mental, physical disabilities as well as other debilitating afflictions. Their programs include Therapeutic Riding, Therapeutic Driving, Hippotherapy, Horses For Heroes, The Educational Program and a volunteer and mentoring program for teens, as well as one for Adults. These programs provide individuals advancement in speech, occupational and physical therapies, academics and vital life skills.

Hippotherapy and Hippocrates

The hippotherapy program, one of Windridge's specialty therapies is a unique and innovative form of therapy designed to impact posture, balance coordination mobility and function. While evidence of the use of hippotherapy can be found in ancient Greek writings of Hippocrates the concept was more recently recognized and executed by the licensed Physical, Occupational, or Speech therapists who work along side of Windridge NARHA Certified Instructors to help clients achieve therapy goals to the maximum benefit possible. There is research proven that a horse walks roughly 3,000 steps in 30 minutes. With horse aboard a special treadmill and client aboard the horse, the repetition of movement provides the therapy the client receives, which is unable to be replicated in any other way on ground or machine. It is the rhythm of the horse's gait, which provides the therapeutic benefit to the client. Special tools and controls are used by many of the clients during this time that also profoundly impact fine motor skills, help develop decision making skills and speech skills when other forms of therapy are integrated.

A Worthwhile Cause

Windridge is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, which is funded by the donations of individuals, civic organizations and corporations. Currently, there is more than one hundred forty participants receiving services and while many of the staff members give of themselves through voluntary efforts there are nine full-time staff and twenty-four of our equine friends who serve to fulfill the participant’s needs. Windridge does charge a small fee of $30.00 per class but no one is ever turned away due to an inability to pay and because of community and civic organization support, scholarships are also available.

Last year Windridge was proud to have celebrated their twentieth year anniversary of service to those with physical and cognitive disabilities in helping them make great strides toward fullness life.

You may find out more information by visiting the Windridge website at Windridge.org.

Tags

Autism, Autism In Children, Autism Spectrum, Autistic, Autistic Children, Autistic Spectrum, Autistic Tendencies, Hippotherapy, Horses

Meet the author

author avatar chellanglo
I wrote my first poem at the age of 13 and haven't stopped writing since. My poetry is predominantly about the subject of love, but I also write poetry which focuses on the Darfur Crisis.

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Comments

author avatar Steve Kinsman
12th Jun 2011 (#)

Very, very good article, chellanglo. I'm glad to hear of these therapies being developed to help autistic children. Very well-deserved star page. Thank you.

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author avatar chellanglo
12th Jun 2011 (#)

Thank you Steve... my son is autistic so this is a subject very close to my heart!

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
12th Jun 2011 (#)

Thanks for sharing information on this charity. Most large areas now have places where people with handicaps can benefit by horseback riding therapy. I urge people to support these charities.

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author avatar chellanglo
12th Jun 2011 (#)

Thank you Mark! I appreciate that very much!

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author avatar Dasdsd
12th Jun 2011 (#)

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author avatar Denise O
12th Jun 2011 (#)

Well done my friend. Great writing. Love the photos. All around a great page. What a wonderful thing these good folks are doing. Bless all of them. Congrats on the star page, it is well deserved. Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar chellanglo
12th Jun 2011 (#)

Thank you Denise... it is humbling to receive such a comment from someone like you who has many star pages! :)

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author avatar Tranquilpen
15th Jun 2011 (#)

Congratulations on a great article Chellanglo, terrific work these people are doing, and really super for you to celebrate their selflessness through your article.Thank you

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author avatar chellanglo
16th Jun 2011 (#)

Thank you for your gracious comments, Tranquilpen

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