What We Do
Welcome to C.H.U.M. Therapeutic Riding, Inc. where services are provided in Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies including therapeutic riding, occupational therapy to include hippotherapy as a tool, sport/recreational riding, research/education, and demonstrations.
Therapeutic riding is an activity where learning riding skills in an adapted setting is inherently therapeutic in nature. The horse affects the rider on a systems wide basis. Physically, cognitively, social/emotionally, the horse can impact a system for growth in any and all of these areas. The certified instructors design the lesson based on the needs of the rider, both in adaptive equipment as well as any adapted techniques needed for the success and growth of the rider’s skills. These areas of improvement carry over into the greater skills for life; whether this is self-esteem, problem solving, attention span, appropriate social behavior, etc. or in gross/fine motor skills, balance, endurance, etc. These are areas impacted in a generalized way inherently by the equine activity.
Occupational therapy services using hippotherapy as a tool are scripted services by a doctor requesting specific areas or goals for improvement for the client. Tools of therapists vary from field to field; however they are there to assist in facilitating responses towards individual goals. These could be athletic equipment, Swiss therapy ball, therapeutic manual massage, weights, etc. The equine environment offers the horse’s movement is a three dimensional moving platform where the type of movement can be graded and changed and where specific muscle/balance/strength responses are facilitated specific to that client’s goals. Cognition goals can be facilitated with specific tasks that require different levels of problem solving, attention, task sequencing, appropriate or functional speech and language for the activity as well as psycho/social skills. The activities used while sensory information is being received and processed by the body allow for more complex integration of systems within the body. Activities such as daily living skills that require crossing midline, balance in dynamic movement, strength and endurance, and spatial processing and problem solving in the environment can all be addressed.
Research continues at an international level in all areas of impact from both therapeutic riding as an activity and therapy services that include hippotherapy as tool. We here at C.H.U.M. have teamed up with 5 different universities in the past 14 years and have completed 15 research projects in the areas of physical therapy, occupational therapy, osteopathic medicine, kinesiology, nursing, human/animal bond in anger management, and equine welfare/veterinary medicine. We continue to research the stated benefits seen in this field to assist in educating the medical and insurance fields of viable forms of therapy available to individuals as well as the standards and guidelines of practice that are needed.