Items

Forums
 
The Ethics of Hippotherapy
 By Winniefield Park   •   13th Oct 2014   •   3,183 views   •   0 comments
The Ethics of Hippotherapy

Long before horse assisted therapy became mainstream, I was involved with helping give hippotherapy to a little girl who had suffered severely crippling injuries in a car accident. At the time, we knew nothing about riding for the disabled. We were told that riding was good exercise for the wheelchair-bound child, and when she was lifted onto the back of a pony, she grinned for the duration of the ride. We had no special equipment, and no training. Hopefully, we did more good than harm. Hippotherapy has been around since the time of the Greeks, but in the last few decades, there's been an increasing interest in horse assisted therapy programs for everything from alcoholism to speech therapy.

Horses help humans. Long ago, they helped us move faster and further carrying a heavier load. When mechanical engines took over, horses gave us healthy recreation. And more recently, in addition to helping us with mobility and physical therapy, they are helping us deal with emotional problems. But is helping us overcome our problems fair to the horse? Some people don't think so. There is some controversy about the cost to the horse's own mental health. One study of horses used for therapy for mental health and physical therapy found their stress hormones actually decreased following the therapy session. This is opposite to what the researcher assumed would happen. The only exceptions were a new horse, another who was a cribber and one who had a rider with a severe mental health problem.

Related: The Benefits of Therapeutic Riding
Related: Therapeutic Riding - Freedom on Horseback
Related: Dreams to Reality - Elite Para-Equestrian
Related: Therapeutic Horseback Riding

The findings of one study however, aren't indicative of what may happen in all therapy programs and that has many people concerned about the ethics of using horses for therapy. Some call it exploitation. They believe that asking a horse to help heal humans, especially those with mental health issues, may be going beyond what would be deemed as 'use'. There is a concern for the safety of the horse in some situations, and that the horse is being used as a tool, rather than treated as a sentient being.

Over the last decade, more attention has been paid to the maintenance of therapy horses and national standards are being formed or are in place in several countries. In North America, several guidelines have been suggested such as those formed by The National Association for Equine Facilitated Wellness that asks members to "agree to abide by their "Code of Ethics for the protection of participants (human and equine), the public, and the profession" and " take steps to ensure the culture and environment at the barns in which their equine partners reside are congruent with this Code." So, more attention is being paid to the stress providing therapy puts on horses, and creating an atmosphere that is healthy for their physical needs.

Clearly, the use of horses to help humans will continue as more therapists discover new ways to provide treat their patients. After all, "There's something, about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man." But, we need to ensure that we are good for both the inside, and outside of the horse.

What's your opinion of equine assisted therapy?

--
ref: https://www.avma.org/News/JAVMANews/Pages/040915o.aspx
Horse News More PB Articles About:  Therapy,
Horse News More In This Category:  General      Horse News More From This Author:  Winniefield Park
 Related Horse News
The Benefits of Therapeutic Riding
6th Jan 2012   |   General   |   Seven Sins
Most people have heard of some form of physical therapy. Well on horseback it is often called Hippotherapy, it is a commonly used for around 100 different conditions; autism, brain injuries, spinal cord injury, visual or hearing l ...
The Ethics of Hippotherapy
13th Oct 2014   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Long before horse assisted therapy became mainstream, I was involved with helping give hippotherapy to a little girl who had suffered severely crippling injuries in a car accident. At the time, we knew nothing about riding for the ...
Tiny Trotters Therapy Horses of South Carolina
7th May 2019   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Horse’s and ponies have been helping humans for a very long time. In fact, they’ve been useful enough that we’ve kept them around despite their being extinct in the wild. But, in recent years, equines have become more than just be ...
Equine Autism and Depression Therapy
23rd Jun 2019   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
With an awareness of what it takes to stay mentally health and recover from mental issues comes many, what seem like, novel approaches to treatments. One treatment is equine therapy designed to help those dealing with mental healt ...
My Little Horse Listener
21st Jul 2019   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Montessori schools are known for their child-led education programs that are a bit different than regular public schools. The focus of Montessori programs is to provide an enriched environment for discovery and hands-on learning f ...
Pony Service Animal Flies In Cabin with Owner
19th Sep 2019   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Flirty, a Miniature Horse and service animal was possibly the first horse to fly inside the passenger compartment of a plane. Her handler, who is allergic to dogs, took Flirty on a short flight, and this short video documents the ...
FAA Announces New Therapy Horses Regulation on Planes
4th Nov 2019   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Recently, the FAA announced new regulations regarding service and emotional support animals on commercial airlines flights. Part of the new regulations recognize that horses are used in this capacity and they now allow miniature h ...
Harp Therapy For Frightened Horses
28th Jan 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Amid the frightening chaos and rush taking place as the Australian wildfires are being fought is a calming sound that helps both horses and humans. A woman transitioning from professional life as a doctor to retirement is offering ...
Service Horse Denied Hospital Entrance
22nd Feb 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
There seems to be a lot of confusion around the status of service animals. The controversy exists because of there are people who maintain their pets are emotional support animals, guide animals even though they are not officially ...
Horse Autism Therapy For Kids
20th Mar 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
A new study suggests that kids with autism and ADHD may benefit from horseback riding lessons. Not only does riding help with motor function, strength, flexibility and dexterity, researchers also felt that that participants in the ...
  View More PonyBox Related Horse Articles
 More News by Winniefield Park
BLM Highlights The First Cowboys
24th Nov 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Black lives matter. And, so does their history. The Caucasion ten-gallon-hatted cowboy may be legend, but it might not be accurate. Skilled African Americans worked cattle, pioneered rodeo sports, ran famous cattle drives, and wer ...
RavenSide Stud Breeds Record Breaker No More Pain
22nd Nov 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Two horses have jumped over 103", and a new highest jump record has been set beating out the third whose best jump was 102.75". These top three record breaking horses are bred and owned by the same stable and all three are Thorou ...
Horse Rescued from Well
21st Nov 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
A farmer helped his Amish neighbor's horses escape a frightening accident after they fell while backfilling a dry well. The Working With Horses YouTube channel covers many different aspects of working the land with real horsepower ...
Top PonyBox Karma Barns
15th Nov 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
We’ve looked at stables with the highest rank, the most winnings and greatest total earnings, but some stables, many very successful in these things, are also leaders in good will. Karma points are earned or lost when members inte ...
Wild Horses Run Through Cyclists in Vuelta a España Event
13th Nov 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
It was another man against beast match at the Vuelta a España, a cycling race that winds through the Pyrenees mountains and finishes in Madrid, Spain. Wild horses nearly collided with several cyclists as they sped around the mount ...
Stadium Jumping in the Modern Pentathalon
11th Nov 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
We’ve heard of horses that are all-rounders, but there’s a type of human athlete that could be described that way too. Participants in the modern pentathlon compete in five different sports, including stadium jumping. ...
Devil Dog Slides While My Glory Charger Leads PonyBox Ranks
8th Nov 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Friesians, TBs and Fjords are in the top ranks. 3P My Glory Charger became top horse and was one of several PYTHON Friesiens within the top fifty horses when he reached the #1 spot. My Glory Charger is a 14.1 hand 11 year old stal ...
Video of Horse Mistaken for Loch Ness Monster
7th Nov 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
It’s easy to trick the eye. So when local residents in Scotland saw a strange figure traveling through the misty waters of a loch you might forgive them for thinking they spotted the elusive Loch Ness monster. ...
  View All News by Winniefield Park
 
©2002 - 2020   PonyBox LLC Create Account Advertise Terms Privacy Contact Us
142 Members Online 269,468 Registered Members 2,801 News Articles 11,928,537 Unique News Article Views 284,967,315 Website Views