Horses Helping Children With Disabilites [VIDEO]
In Russellville, Arkansas there is a special ranch that helps kids with disabilities. Physical therapists Kusturin and Dana Warren came together to form the Equestrian Zone, physical, speech and occupational therapy center that treats children with horses offering the rider numerous benefits. The children get the thrill of riding the horses while receiving physical and mental therapy.I’ve heard of using horses to help children with certain disabilities and I wanted to learn more. They call the treatment Hippotherapy. Hippotherapy is simply a physical, occupational and speech therapy treatment that uses the horse’s movement to improve the life of the rider.
“The movement of the horse is most similar to that of humans. It is a multi-dimensional movement of the pelvis and that triggers the child’s body to make it feel like its walking. That tells the neurological system how to walk or helps it to walk,” says Kusturin.
“We opened our doors in ’08 and since then, we’ve grown from 13 riders now we have 62 clients and nine on a waiting list,” says Jodi Kusturin.
These children have a wide range of disabilities like; cerebral palsy, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, down syndrome, deafness, mental retardation, blindness, strokes, learning disabilities, autism to muscular dystrophy. It so amazing what these kid’s can accomplish on the backs of these gentle giants — Incredible!
For information on local and Texas based Therapeutic programs, I found a few you may want to check out.
Windridge Therapeutic Equestrian Center of East Texas – Located in Longview, Texas
Therapeutic Riding of Texas – Located in Cedar Hill, Texas
Fire House Farm – Located in Henderson, Texas