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History of Hippotherapy

History of Hippotherapy

Hippotherapy has its roots in ancient history, with the use of horseback riding as a therapeutic tool being noted as far back as 600 BC in Greece. In the following centuries, various physicians and philosophers explored the benefits of horseback riding for people with disabilities, including the Greek physician Hippocrates (460-370 BC) and the Roman physician Galen (129-200 AD).


In more modern times, the use of horses in therapy gained recognition in Europe in the late 1800s, where it was used to help individuals with orthopedic and neurological conditions.


The founder of modern-day hippotherapy is widely considered to be Liselott Diem, a German physical therapist who used horseback riding as a therapeutic tool in the 1950s.


Eventually, hippotherapy spread to the United States in the 1960s and 1970s, gaining popularity among physical, occupational, and speech therapists. The success of hippotherapy as a therapeutic modality has continued to grow, with research showing its effectiveness in improving balance, coordination, muscle tone, and other physical and cognitive abilities.


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