Therapeutic Riding - Hippotherapy

Why the horse?

When a horse is jogging it produces nearly 60-75 three-dimensional movements per minute, that are equivalent to normal neurophysiologically human gait. The physiognomy of its back encourages the correct sitting position which provides to the Central Nervous System a great contribution to sensory stimuli.

This activity and the environment that surrounds it make the horse an agent capable of:

  • Change the response of the Central Nervous System by facilitating posture models and more normalized movements.
  • Promote fundamental experiences for the development of motor, cognitive, communication and social skills.

Who can attend?

Therapeutic Riding - Hippotherapy is intended for anyone with disabilities, whatever their age, with no contraindications concerning horse riding.

The main benefits are:

  • Improve joint mobility, balance and coordination;
  • Normalization of muscle tone;
  • Improve muscle tone;
  • Build high self-esteem, developing self-confidence;
  • Improvements in learning, concentration and spatial orientation,
  • Motivation to set and achieve goals;

Therapeutic Riding includes: Hippotherapy, Therapeutic Riding and Adapted Riding. These therapy treatment strategies are used according to each rider's therapeutic objectives.


  • Neuromotor objectives, directed towards the individual's rehabilitation process;
  • It is a clinically oriented approach, implemented by a professional therapist in conjunction with a competent horse handler and a trained therapy horse;
  • The goal is to achieve functional outcomes through the horse's movement;

Therapeutic riding

  • Psychomotor objectives, directed towards educational, psychological or cognitive needs;
  • It allows our “riders” to progress as a rider;
    The therapist or the riding trainer in in conjunction with with all therapists involved in the rehabilitation process (educators, psychologists and therapists) define the therapeutic goals;

Adaptive Riding

  • Sport, recreation and education goals;
  • Instructors and riders work together to develop equestrian skills;
  • Promotion of equestrian performance or competition;
  • Build high self-esteem and competitive spirit;

(FRDI cit APPC, 2003)

Escola Nacional de Equitação courses:

  • Therapeutic Riding Assistant Course
  • Therapeutic Riding Teachers Course
  • Health and Education in Therapeutic Riding Technicians Course
  • Masters in Therapeutic Riding
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