What is riding therapy?

Riding therapy or hipotherapy (with horses) is recongnized worlwide as an effective method for physical, mental and/or emotional rehabilitation. It transmits the patient a sense of balance, coordination, orientation and ryhm. The movement of the back of the horse is used therapeutically.

Hipotherapy uses horses as therapeutic instuments and prepares the patient for other physiotherapeutic functions, but offers huge psicological benefits.

It can be differentiated as follows:

  • Hipotherapy
  • Riding therapeutically and volting
  • Horse Back Riding as a sport for disabled
  1. Passive Hipotherapy accompanied (patient rides together with the therapist, is held)
  2. Passive Hipotherapy alone (patient alone, without taking the reins - making exercises) in different positions
  3. Active Hipotherapy - Therapeutica riding or riding for disabled (with saddle and reins). Games and special olympics can be organized.

Fundamentals of Hipotherapy

  • Tridimensional movement of the horse pace
  • 110 vibrations per minute
  • Stimulation of alpha waves and nervous system
  • Horse has I additional degree Celsius temperature
  • The pace of the horse is similar to the pace of humans
  • Allows different wiev of the environment (differente perspective)
  • The horse cause respect and affection
  • Transmits energy

What are alpha waves?

Alpha waves are those between 7.5 and 13(Hz) that peak around 10Hz. Good healthy alpha production promotes mental resourcefulness, aids in the ability to mentally coordinate, enhasces overall sense of relaxation and fatigue. When Alpha predominates most people feel at ease and clam. Alpha is one of the brain's msot important frequency to learn and use information taught in the classroom and on the job.

Alpha waves also influence the central nervous system and lymbic system of the brain (regulate emotional component of conduct).


Hipotherapy and Alpha Waves

It has been scientifically proven that while riding on a horse, donkey or llama, alpha waves increase. While performing hipotherapy, the patient enters into a "state of alpha", a state of healing, relaxation, rejoicement and learning (physical and mental).


Benefits of Hipoterapy

  • Stimulates cell production, alpha waves, endorphines and hormones
  • Patients get distracted from pain and depressive state
  • Fosters interaction between humans, taking away sensation of loneliness
  • Enhances learning abilities
  • Increases self esteem, happiness and optimism
  • Fosters social inclusion  




Although I enjoyed all aspects of working at the Fundacion Amen, the highlight was working with the children with special needs. I had the privilege of meeting several people whom had been participating in the program for some time, and they are living testament to the effectiveness of this progressive therapy treatment. I could see the pleasure and tranquility it brought it to each child involved, whether it was their first day or their third year . From the friendly volunteers to the knowledgeable full-time staff, I appreciated the positive and constructive atmosphere. My only regret at the Fundacion was that I was only able to work for six weeks, and I would love to return one day. Ben Volmer bvollmer90@gmail.com