Hippotherapy is a physical, occupational, and speech-language therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement as part of an integrated intervention program to achieve functional outcomes.Equine movement provides multidimensional movement, which is variable, rhythmic and repetitive. The horse provides a dynamic base of support, making it an excellent tool for increasing trunk strength and control, balance, building overall postural strength and endurance, addressing weight bearing, and. motor planning. Equine movement offers well-modulated sensory input to vestibular, proprioceptive, tactile and visual channels. During gait transitions, the patient must perform subtle adjustments in the trunk to maintain a stable position.
Facility Dogs are expertly trained dogs who partner with a facilitator working in a health care, visitation or education setting. Facility Dogs are trustworthy in professional environments and can perform over 40 commands designed to motivate and inspire clients with special needs.Facilitators are working professionals responsible for handling and caring for the Facility Dog. Additionally, facilitators are committed to long-term employment where they directly serve clients with special needs a minimum of twenty hours per week. One of the most valued qualities of the Facility Dog is the unconditional love and attention it gives to the clients and patients with whom it interacts.
In an educational setting, a Facility Dog helps engage students in schools and special education classes.
In a health care environment, activities such as grooming, feeding and playing fetch with a Facility Dog can aid patients in medical rehabilitation and psychiatric programs.