Date of Defense

Spring 4-12-1994

Department

Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Charles Howard, Health and Human Services

Second Advisor

Bliss Brown, Cheff Center

Third Advisor

Richard Cooper, Occupational Therapy

Abstract

Hippotherapy, as defined by the American Hippotherapy Association means 'Treatment with the help of the horse.' "In Hippotherapy, the horse influences the client rather than the client controlling the horse. The client is positioned on, and actively responds to the movement of the therapy horse. The therapist directs the movement of the horse, analyzes the client's responses, and adjusts the treatment accordingly (92). Hippotherapy is different from therapeutic horse-back riding in the sense that the client does not control the horse. There are many reasons that hippotherapy is valuable. One reason is the fact that it involves riding a horse. This is viewed as a fun and rewarding experience in itself. Clients beginning hippotherapy are often excited and eager to work. A second reason hippotherapy is valuable lies in the companionship developed between client and horse. These factors give the client many psychological benefits, including greater self-esteem, increased capacity to love, and a sense of empowerment. These are explored in this paper.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only

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