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EFSMA european federation of sports medicine associations
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Romanian Society for Sports Medicine

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"Medicina Sportiva" No.14 - 2008 The 15-th Sports Medicine Balkan Congress


Skeyakis Stelios, Stratoglou Panagiotis, Georgiadou Evdokia
T.E.I. Thessaloniki, Department of Physiotherapy, Greece

The word Hippotherapy means “treatment with the use of a horse”.  The Hippotherapist is a physiotherapist or an ergotherapist with additional training in horse movement.
In Hippotherapy the horse is used as a tool of treatment, like a moving machine, and the child on the horse as a patient and not as a rider.  In our case the horse influences the rider, not the rider the horse.  The Hippotherapy applies individually, with a physiotherapist or ergotherapist and the horse trainer who is responsible for the horse walking quality and movements.
The term Hippotherapy first used by the Germans in 1960 and in 1970 they first founded a center in order to train people how to use Hippotherapy.  In 1976 a Swiss Hippotherapic team established in Basel.  According to Professor Bauman of the Child Hospital in Basel, “the hippotherapy, practiced by therapists, is insuperable as a treatment in selected cases of brain paralysis”.
There are two types of Hippotherapy: The classic Hippotherapy where the physiotherapist or ergotherapist place the patient on the horse, analyze his reactions and moves the horse in order to influence the patient and finally achieve his target; The developing Hippotherapy it is used as the classic one with the difference that the physiotherapist or ergotherapist helps the child to sit on a specific point and he is capable to ask or help the child to move within that certain point.  The main goal is to make the rider to get used of the movement sitting on the horse back.  The rider is instructed therapeutic from the horse and in no way is trying to influence it.

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