In ancient times, Hippocrates claimed that patients recover better if they ride. He was especially eager to “prescribe” such exercises to melancholy people, believing that galloping, amble or trotting is very useful for a positive way of thinking and improving mood. And the French philosopher Denis Didro dedicated a thematic treatise to riding, considering it the most useful of all physical exercises.
Today we are talking with Mary Donnovan, a certified veterinarian and head coach of Chamberlain Horse Club, about such an unconventional form of medical treatment as hippotherapy.
“Many kids in childhood dream of becoming doctors or police officers. I dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. Nevertheless, I was not able to enter the university the first time, and after completing medical practice my veterinary assistant resume was the most unremarkable. Therefore, I could not find work right away, I had to earn a living with temporary part-time jobs now and then for a while.”
“Perhaps if at that moment I would ask for help specialists from the writing service like https://resumesbot.com/cover-letter-writing-service/ I would be more successful and be able to find work in a private clinic. But I am pleased with how my life ended up. After all, I found my calling here. Since childhood, I dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. My grandmother had a small ranch on which she kept some domestic animals. Among them was my favorite one was a horse. I loved him madly. I think that’s where my craving for animals comes from. “
What is the therapeutic secret of hippotherapy?
What is useful in horseback riding? The horse transmits to the rider more than 100 different vibrations per minute, this forces the human body to adjust its movements physiologically. When riding a horse, all major muscle groups are included in the work. In order not to fall off the horse’s back, while riding, the rider is forced to make various body movements, this effect cannot be achieved by any other types of gymnastics. This happens at a reflex level, a person does not notice this, but simply enjoys communicating with a horse.
“Not every horse is suitable for hippotherapy. They undergo a rigorous selection process, and then they work with them for a long time. It is necessary that the animal react adequately to the strange behavior of children: when they scream, cry and indulge. During therapy, the horse must give its positive energy, and the horse, crushed by psychological problems, will not be able to give anything. Besides everything, the animal must be absolutely healthy, not have any lameness and arrhythmia, even insignificant.”
Hippotherapy is very useful for diseases of the musculoskeletal system, scoliosis, arthrosis of the joints. It normalizes muscle tone, improves coordination, strengthens muscles and even improves gait. With an optimal load, a strong muscle corset is created around the spine, blood circulation is improved, metabolism in the intervertebral discs is normalized, therefore, when osteochondrosis begins, horse riding is the best treatment.
The “horse effect,” as the experts explained, consists in the frequency of the beat of her heart, which coincides with the human. Therefore, next to the horse, the person calms down, the performance of the body is normalized. A child with autism does not need to ride, the effect is created by being near the horse. Horse riding is used to correct physiological problems. There is another “horse effect” here – heat plus vibration frequency.
Most often, phlegmatic horses are involved in hippotherapy. “Phlegmatic” here does not mean depressive. The horse should be calm, disciplined, but ready for communication. Icelandic horses with a persistent psyche were well suited for therapy, but the breed for selecting animals for training is not a determining factor – competent training can let the animal in any direction.
Horse therapy does not only help children with autism spectrum disorders. A club Sally told us an amazing story of healing from bronchial asthma.
“We, asthmatics, have an eternal problem – posture, like that of guitarists. And in order to breathe correctly, you need to straighten your shoulders. Since it is simply impossible to sit on a horse with your back crooked, posture is formed. Even ballet exercises do not give such an effect: flattened shoulder blades are it’s still not a natural posture. Plus, asthma attacks come from stress and you learn to be calm on a horse, because you get nervous – you get nervous and your horse. You breathe calmly, straightened shoulders – that’s the whole recipe. “