Hippotherapy

At Quest Therapeutic Services, we infuse our extensive physical, occupational, and speech therapy expertise into a unique form of treatment called hippotherapy or Equine-Assisted Therapy. Our therapists receive specialized training and use our well-trained horses as part of an overall treatment program to improve your child’s gross motor, fine motor, sensory, and communication skills. 

Quest Therapeutic Services is the only full-time hippotherapy outpatient center serving the Delaware Valley (PA, NJ and DE). We adhere to all PATH safety guidelines and provide direct hands-on participation with your child at all times. Parents and caregivers can watch the sessions in process and they are always encouraged to be active participants in the overall treatment plan. 

HOW DOES HIPPOTHERAPY, OR EQUINE-ASSISTED THERAPY WORK?

Hippotherapy has been shown to be one of the most efficient and effective treatments to improve postural control, balance and walking in patients with motor disorders. Children with developmental disabilities such as spasticity, hypotonia (low tone), and attention disorders, as well as traumatic brain injury can benefit from hippotherapy. The horse's movement has a therapeutic effect on the child because it imparts a precise, repetitive pattern of movement very similar to the movement of a person's pelvis during normal walking.

The major aims of hippotherapy include mobilizing the pelvis, lumbar spine and hip joints, normalizing muscle tone, developing head and trunk postural control and equilibrium reactions in the trunk. In fact, these goals of postural control and equilibrium reactions can be achieved more easily on the horse than in the clinic. The horse's rhythmical movements transmit symmetrical sensory input to the child's brain and nervous system in a way that cannot be imitated by a mechanical apparatus or with any degree of consistency in the traditional therapy clinic. Therefore, hippotherapy serves as a valuable treatment strategy as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. 

Benefits of Hippotherapy or Equine-Assisted Therapy:

  • Develops motor skills and coordination
  • Improves balance
  • Strengthens muscles
  • Improves flexibility and joint mobility
  • Increases head and trunk control
  • Improves confidence and self-esteem
  • Enhances communication skills

WHO WE SERVE:

Quest treats children between the ages of 2 and 21 years with a maximum weight of approximately 80 - 100 lbs. If your child cannot sit independently and requires assistance, the maximum weight is approximately 45-60 lbs. 

 For more information about our programs and services, call 610-692-6362.