The application of hippotherapy has grown exponentially in the world over the last decade. Hippotherapy, as a treatment, is not only a pleasurable experience; it is an exercise therapy and massage with clinical and psychological benefits, and far more effective than the traditional massage or exercise therapy. Hippotherapy is a kind of therapy that utilizes equine (horse) movement. Derived from the Greek hippos, for horse, “hippotherapy” literally refers to treatment or therapy aided by a horse. The main advantage of hippotherapy over traditional methods of rehabilitation is that it provides an effective combination of physical and emotional impact on the patient.
It takes very few simple steps to reach your child happiness and eventually yours.
Book an appointment to be sure we have free time on your arrival.
Find our location on contact page then come to our place.
We are going to introduce all the horses to you.
Your child have the opportunity to play, brush and ride around with a suitable horse under our supervision.
There! Your child will feel happy and more connected to nature once again.
The amazing influence of the horse was well known in ancient times. Hippocrates, Aristotle, Denis Didro and other prominent scientists and philosophers produced scientific transactions on the benefits of horses in the treatment of ailments. During the times of Alexander the Great injured soldiers would be put on a horse to help their wounds heal faster. However, hippotherapy as a formalized discipline was not developed until the 1960s, when it began to be used in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland an adjunct to traditional physical therapy. The first standardized hippotherapy curriculum would be formulated in the late 1980s by a group of Canadian and American therapists who traveled to Germany to learn about hippotherapy and would bring the new discipline back to North America upon their return. In the beginning of 90’s it was introduced into the Former Soviet Union.
The patient takes hippotherapy session as a horseback riding – a challenging but enjoyable experience – rather than a treatment. In this practice, it is him who is important, who is “over” and controls, rather than is being controlled. The patient who has been constantly told, “You cannot do this, you are not strong enough”, is sitting on a big, strong animal who obeys to his commands. This totally new feeling gives rise to the rider’s confidence and self-esteem, and not only when he is on the horseback, but also when he watches how others manage the horse. Horses at Centaur are trained to obey to the “rider” including those with no experience. This makes the young riders think that they have power over this huge “friend”. With time a special bond is established between the rider and the horse. Not only this develops communication abilities in the riders, but also helps get rid of many fears.
The horse’s pace is similar to human pace, so the horse passes over the right motion impulses to the rider with motor defects. The temperature of the horse body is 1-1.5 degrees higher than that of the human body, and when on the back of the horse, the rider’s muscles get a natural heating massage. The horse makes about 110 multidimensional movements and the rider’s body reiterates it. The movement of the horse influences or facilitates an adaptive response in the patient. Through these movements spastic muscles loosen up and weak muscles tighten up. This is extremely important especially in treatment of cerebral palsy. To keep balance on the horse, the rider needs to coordinate, synchronize his movements, and work all his muscles, including the ones normally inactive.
Psychological aspect of communication with the horse is also very important. In their contact with animals, children learn to have relationships, build up a sense of trust and friendship, find comfort, take responsibility, and experience the effects of their actions and feelings. Children come to realize the importance of love and care in their lives and those around. They learn to have interpersonal relationships and to live with others. They develop a sense of empathy, which is one of the best ways to combat aggression and hostility.
Through their relationship with horses children learn to identify their fears and limitations, find ways to overcome them and learn about self-control. Horses behave in a way that corresponds to human emotions, and relationships with them make it possible for children to become emotionally more mature. As a result, children manage to make fast progress in their recovery. Relationship with horses can make a real difference in a child’s life, since it heals his body and soul.
Horse seemed to be the last hope for me. First times it was very difficult both for us and for the practitioners. My son was crying non-stop, refusing even to go close to the horse. Then the specialists decided to put and keep him on the horse by force. First three sessions were a nightmare for all of us. I had a feeling that my child would love to come out from his inner world but there was some invisible obstacle between the two worlds that prevented him from doing that…
On the fourth day miracle happened: he climbed on the horse and smiled. In a few sessions he would run to the horse and kiss him before climbing. And one beautiful day he went to the horse, smiled and said very clearly: horse…
Mother Lilia: My child is 8 years old, she has CP, and her coordination is very disturbed. Constant searches for new rehabilitation methods for my daughter brought me to Centaur hippotherapy center. I was surprised to see two young guys – Borya and Hasmik there who despite all difficulties and obstacles persistently were practicing rehabilitation of the children.
My daughter liked the place at once. She found there that calm and spontaneous atmosphere which our children, especially living in the city need so much. Unlike other places here the child was not just treated but also was in touch with nature and domestic animals such as horses, goats, dogs, cats. I have to add that my daughter overcame her fear to big dogs at this center! During the few months of hippotherapy I could not help wondering how calm and obedient horses were during the sessions. Later Hasmik explained that for such a work horses with calm character are chosen and then trained especially for working with children.
Mother Varduhi: : When Hasmik told me about the horse for my son my first reaction was negative; I was scared that he could not hold on the horse with one hand and one leg damaged. But she explained that hippotherapy is different from horse riding and first times they will insure him. I agreed though could not get rid of fear completely.
My son was diagnosed cerebral palsy when he was just few months old. They said he had to undergo a long rehabilitation but we did not have money for that. So we had to accept the fact that our child was and would be disabled and live with that… But then I noticed changes that horse therapy caused to him. He started using his right hand. It became stronger and stronger. I see his happy face when he manages to do something with that hand. And horse seems to be a miracle we waited for so long…