Physical Therapy focuses on improving gross motor skills and reaching developmental milestones including sitting, standing, crawling, walking, jumping and running. Physical therapists help children increase strength, flexibility, balance, endurance and coordination so that they can achieve their highest level of functional independence.
Occupational Therapy helps children improve their ability to perform activities of daily living and self-help skills such as grooming, bathing, dressing and feeding so that they can fully participate in home, school and community activities. Occupational Therapists work on developing fine motor coordination, handwriting, visual motor function, core and upper body strength and sensory processing and regulation.
Speech Language Pathologists work with children to improve comprehension and communication, both verbally and non-verbally. Speech Therapy focuses on the development of expressive and receptive language skills, articulation, fluency, social skills and oral motor strength.
Hippotherapy brings all forms of Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy together where a therapist uses the characteristic movements of a horse to provide carefully graded motor and sensory input. A foundation is established to improve neurological function and sensory processing. This can be generalized to a wide range of daily activities. Unlike therapeutic horseback riding (where specific riding skill are taught), the movement of the horse is a means to assist in achieving a goal by utilizing the horse as a treatment strategy.
This unique program is offered off site at Dancepiration studio in Crystal Lake. It provides children with the opportunity to work on balance, coordination, flexibility and strength in a social, fun dance setting.
The class is run by one of our physical therapists and the staff at Dancepiration on Saturday mornings. This class is appropriate for children ages three and up.
Sensory Processing Disorder
Gross Motor Delay
Fine Motor Delay
Hypotonia / Muscle Weakness
Stroke / Stroke in utero
Traumatic Brain Injury
Spinal muscular atrophy
Other genetic syndromes
Fragile X syndrome
Other seizure disorders
The horse’s walk simulates the human walk and a rider is able to feel what a normal walking pattern feels like. The participant has to maintain their balance on the horse, which helps build stronger muscles throughout the body and improve posture. Fine and gross motor skills are enhanced when participating in both riding and horsemanship activities.
Our programs provide the opportunity to bond with the horse, instructors and volunteers, which assists in developing trust, communication skills, confidence and expressive responses. As a team, we create an effective support system in an environment where people can learn and grow at their own pace.
Working with a horse can improve concentration, focus and reduce hyperactivity by effectively calming emotional outbursts and reassuring appropriate behavior.
Riding and Horsemanship may increase the participant’s ability to follow directions, improve sequential thought processing, motor planning and memory recall.
The horse can improve self-esteem and confidence, nurturing a positive self-image. Some may experience independence for the first time in their lives and self-reliance they can utilize in everyday life.