VIDEO: Benefits of hippotherapy for children with disabilities examined
Roxie Bustamante, a reporter with Lubbock's KLBK 13, recently sat down with Heidi Brady, co-director of Texas Tech's Therapeutic Riding Center, to discuss some of her ongoing research here on the South Plains.
The Texas Tech Therapeutic Riding Center starts a research study next week to reveal the benefits of hippotherapy for children with disabilities. Brady said the center is the first in the nation to look at the effects of hippotherapy for children, between the ages of two and three, with development delays.
"These children have a delay in their physical development," Brady said, "and what we're trying to see is what 15 weeks of hippotherapy with horses like King here will do for their walking and their balance, posture, and strength."
She said this study will specifically help 30 children, between the ages of two and three, gain sensory and motor skills. "This research is going to show it's a lot more than a pony ride," Brady said. "It's moving the right muscles it's stimulating the brain, it's doing everything you can't really achieve in the gym."
She said the center has been using horseback riding as a therapy technique for more than 15 years and have seen countless patients succeed physically and mentally.
"One of our patients, after three session he could sit up in the bathtub by himself, without his mom having to hold him," Brady said, "and it's just huge for them, you know, he could play in the bathtub. There's a lot that these horses can do for these young children."
Brady said Texas Tech Therapeutic Riding Center allocate all of its resources to provide therapy to patients of all ages. She said the center could use extra hands and volunteer help to continue helping those in need.
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