The history and development of Equine Therapy

Historically, the benefits of animals in connection with the help the sick has been considered an excellent recovery therapy.

Specialists confirm that the presence of animals with humans produces huge physical and social benefits. It combats the feeling of loneliness, it helps to focus attention, encourages exercise, communication, and promotes physical and emotional contact.

The relationship between man and horse is as old as man himself.

The horse has contributed in no small measure to human development. The horse has allowed man to travel great distances, it was crucial to the development of agricultural, it has been a cornerstone in battles for centuries and is frequently represented as a symbol of power.

The therapeutic benefits of the horse were recognized starting from the year 460 BC.  Hippocrates spoke of the healthy pace of the horse and throughout history we find many references to the physical and emotional benefits of riding. 

Early studies to prove the therapeutic value of riding are started in 1875.  The same year the French neurologist, Chassaignac, discovered that a horse in action improved the balance, motion and control muscle of his patients. Their experiences convinced him that riding, improved mood, which was particularly beneficial for paraplegics and patients with other neurological disorders.

At the end of the First World War in Britain a woman named Olive Sands put her horses at the disposal of Oxford Hospital to test a kind of therapy using animals for patients at the hospital. The success of his experiment was very encouraging.

The big difference between therapy on horseback and using other animals, dolphins, dogs, etc. is that we gain benefit from sitting on its back on its movement to improve our quality of life. 

Classic Equine Therapy in Europe has reflected the widespread German model since 1960, whose fundamental principles are the relationship between the movements of the horse and the patient's response to the treatment.

Equine based therapy offers a wide range of opportunities for people with physical, mental, sensory and behavioral problems.

Offering an opportunity to ride on horseback or re-educate and rehabilitate people with disabilities, is not only providing therapy, it is giving people a chance to live a different life and help to bring out the joy and love of life that we should all feel.

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