Event Title

Equine Occupational Therapy: An Alternative Therapy

Faculty Mentor

David Schary, Ph.D.

College

College of Education

Department

Department of Physical Education, Sport, and Human Performance

Location

DiGiorgio Campus Center, Room 221

Start Date

21-4-2017 12:45 PM

Description

Occupational therapy works on the fine motors skills and the ability to perform day-to-day tasks. Occupational therapy is sometimes accompanied by equine therapy, which is the use of horses and horseback riding to develop skills. Perceived benefits of equine therapy include improved speech, focus, self-esteem, swallowing function, potty training, strength, and motor function. Equine therapy exercises work to strengthen hypotonic, or under-performing, muscles and increase the plasticity of hypertonic, or over-performing, muscles. Participants also form bonds with the horse due to unconditional positive regard that they may not feel in a clinical setting. Overall, little research has been done to yield quantitative comparisons between equine therapy and traditional occupational therapy. As a result of the deficit in research on equine therapy, the technique has mostly spread through word of mouth and is not always available for families. Research on equine therapy may increase its availability and the number of occupational therapists willing to work with equine clinics. This would ultimately lead to a higher quality service and a more reliable equine therapy experience. This project will include a review of literature and will investigate the effectiveness of equine therapy in occupational therapy. It is important to know if equine therapy is beneficial for participants so that it can become more widely utilized and more available for families.

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Apr 21st, 12:45 PM

Equine Occupational Therapy: An Alternative Therapy

DiGiorgio Campus Center, Room 221

Occupational therapy works on the fine motors skills and the ability to perform day-to-day tasks. Occupational therapy is sometimes accompanied by equine therapy, which is the use of horses and horseback riding to develop skills. Perceived benefits of equine therapy include improved speech, focus, self-esteem, swallowing function, potty training, strength, and motor function. Equine therapy exercises work to strengthen hypotonic, or under-performing, muscles and increase the plasticity of hypertonic, or over-performing, muscles. Participants also form bonds with the horse due to unconditional positive regard that they may not feel in a clinical setting. Overall, little research has been done to yield quantitative comparisons between equine therapy and traditional occupational therapy. As a result of the deficit in research on equine therapy, the technique has mostly spread through word of mouth and is not always available for families. Research on equine therapy may increase its availability and the number of occupational therapists willing to work with equine clinics. This would ultimately lead to a higher quality service and a more reliable equine therapy experience. This project will include a review of literature and will investigate the effectiveness of equine therapy in occupational therapy. It is important to know if equine therapy is beneficial for participants so that it can become more widely utilized and more available for families.