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History of Hippotherapy

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years ago





History of Hippotherapy




Hippotherapy is simply the utilizing a horse's movement as a tool for therapy or rehabilitation. This practice was first applied by the Greeks to help rehabilitate soldiers who had been injured in war. In 1952, hippotherapy was brought to the world's attention at the Helsinki Olympics when Liz Hartel won a silver medal in a sport called Dressage. This activity is the art of performing difficult moves that test the horse. It involves the training and strengthing of both the horse and rider. After winning second place in the Olympics, Lix Hartel made it known that riding her horse had helped her to overcome her Polio. In the 1960s, horses began to be incorporated into physical therapy programs in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. After another decade, a team of American speech, physical, and occupational therapists went to Germany to learn about hippotherapy. This was the very beginning of the American Hippotherapy Association.





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