Hippos is the Greek word for horse. Hippotherapy, or therapeutic riding, boosts conventional clinical therapy the children receive. Riding therapy works because the gait of a horse closely mimics the walking patterns of humans.
Todd Cepica, co-director of the clinic, says the secret might be in the way kids see it. They don't know it's therapy when they are able to enjoy the company of a horse but when they're in the clinic and being treated with therapy equipment, they know it's therapy. They are able to accomplish the same thing therapeutically, but it's play to them.
Royce May says he and his wife have seen great progress in their ten-year-old son, Britton, since he has been participating in Hippotherapy.
He adds that aside from the range of motion improvement, they have seen his speech greatly improve.
The clients also ride on a new outdoor sensory track. This type of therapy is usually done in an indoor arena. But this therapy is done at the outdoor Caprock Equestrian Center, which is more natural for the horses and more stimulating for the riders.
Undergraduate students take the principles of therapeutic riding course to learn the skills necessary to work in the field and then apply for certification within the North American Riding For the Handicapped Association.