The American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation performed a research review to determine whether therapeutic riding and hippotherapy improve balance, motor function, gait, muscle symmetry, pelvic movement, psychosocial parameters, and the patients’ overall quality of life. Following a literature search, 16 articles were included in the review. Assessment revealed:
- most of the studies showed a trend toward a beneficial effect of therapeutic riding and hippotherapy on balance and gross motor function.
- the meta-analysis showed improvement in both the Berg Balance Scale and the Gross Motor Function Measure in therapeutic riding and hippotherapy programs.
The researchers concluded that therapeutic riding and hippotherapy are a suitable intervention for individuals with balance, gait, and psychomotor disorders.
Reference: Stergiou, Alexandra; Tzoufi, Meropi MD; Ntzani, Evangelia MD; Varvarousis, Dimitrios MD; Beris, Alexandros MD; Ploumis, Avraam MD. Therapeutic Effects of Horseback Riding Interventions: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: Post Author Corrections: March 1, 2017. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000726