Activities with horses, such as horse-assisted therapy or hippo therapy are increasing in recent years as a social participation offer thanks to its many benefits. It becomes an interesting offer to consider, both for its therapy effects as well as for its sportive and leisure possibilities for all kinds of riders due to the attractiveness of riding a horse, the close contact with animals and nature, and the involvement of a calm and structured activity.
In these activities, horses are understood as a working instrument and as an integrative element, rehabilitative and re-educative. For that matter, the Menorca Purebred Horse is suitable for those activities with people who need calm and security, thanks to its good character, collaborative behaviour and easy riding. So, it is used in that kind of session in Grup Cavallers de Maó (Bintaufa).
Many therapeutic benefits in all sorts, social, cognitive, emotional, psychological and physical, have been documented in people with disability or special needs, in adults as well as in children, among which the following may be highlighted:
- It improves direction, balance and mobility thanks to the tridimensional movement of the horse.
- It reduces muscle spasticity, due to the horse body warmth that enables muscular and articular relaxation.
- It tones muscles, increases lung capacity and corrects body posture.
- The variation in the horse’s pace enables different degrees of the movement sensations transmitted to the patient.
- It affects positively the communicative and behaviour functions in patients of all ages.
- It boosts psychomotricity, the adaptation to the environment and a better living standard and a higher level of self-sufficiency, increasing self confidence and stimulating language for speech development, communication, attention, perception, memory and socialization.
- Horses and its related activities are motivational, stimulating and innovative building relationships among horse and rider.
Technicians affirm riders improve in every session. Furthermore, riders enjoy the activity and spend a good time in nature.