Horses are extremely energetic beings. The biofeedback a horse provides to a therapy client engages their sensory, neuromotor, and cognitive systems in a way that nothing else can.
Horses walk at an average of 100 steps per minute. Five minutes on a horse in motion represents 500 neuromotor inputs to the rider – meaning as many as 3,000 inputs within 30 minutes of therapy.
During a hippotherapy session, the client sits only on a saddle pad. They can feel the horse breathing while their muscles and joints are moving. They receive and interpret all of those neuromotor inputs, and either intuit or learn the response. As a client progresses, they gain opportunities for complex motor learning, muscle coordination, sensory processing, and strength building, as well as discover numerous social-emotional benefits.