Why we use the horse?
The horse itself is an incentive as it is familiar and friendly animal, it enjoys human contact and is eager to follow the therapist's and individual's instructions. Moreover, it is prone to feel , mirror and transmute the disabled individual's feelings and thoughts.
Due to the fact that all sessions take place out-doors, in the arena, they are not regarded so much as lessons but more as a pleasant and constructive activity which is entertaining and fun at the same time, although it is considered to be a strenuous exercise. Since the horse is not a critical participant, the interaction helps the individual's overall behavior and mood.
The horse's movement during the walk mimics /simulates the human walking gait and its a 3-dimensional movement (back-front, right-left-rotational). The horse’ s walk, rhythmical and slow, sends a series of stimuli through-out the body of the rider thus stimulating not only the musculoskeletal system in its entirety but also the brain.
At the same time the therapists work with the rider via the use of games based on physiotherapeutic and occupational therapy principles, games which include speech exercises, memory exercises, stance and balance exercises in such a way as to make the session constructive, effective and fun. There are always 2 therapists, one on each side on the rider to ensure his/her safety, a good balance and seat as well as a 3-way interaction between rider, horse and therapists.