Unfortunately, the nature of children is that they will grow. This can mean in some instances that equine movement (hippotherapy) will no longer be a suitable treatment strategy for them.
Decisions regarding the use of equine movement are at the discretion of the treating therapist and will be based on the availability of a suitable equine relative to height, weight, cognition and balance of the client. The results of a risk/benefit analysis will also be considered.
Here is a general guideline of maximum weight considerations:
A child who can sit independently, without behavioural issues: 8 stone.
A child who requires moderate to maximum assistance by one or two people: 4 stone.
Children who are within the weight considerations but have behavioural or substantial medical needs will be assessed on an individual basis.
We do not wish to cause offence by requesting a child’s weight.
Any child who is not suitable to engage in equine movement can continue their occupational therapy/speech and language therapy sessions at Strides Therapy Clinic without the use of this treatment tool.
At Strides Therapy Clinic we follow the Department of Education regarding openings and closures during extreme weather.
It is at the discretion of the management and therapists to deem whether or not it is safe to use equine movement during certain weather conditions such as high wind, rain, thunder/lightening, etc.
In the event that it is not safe to use equine movement, all therapy sessions will go ahead in our therapy rooms.
If cancellations are made due to weather conditions but schools have remained open, the cancellation fee of €40 will be forfeited and will need to be repaid for subsequent sessions.
In the event of Strides needing to close for any reason, we will endeavour to give as much notice as possible.
For the safety of client, staff and equines, using equine movement as part of a client’s plan of care is at the discretion of the therapist.
If at any time the therapist feels equine movement is not a safe option due to:
- Client behaviour
- External environmental factors (machinery etc.)
- Equine behaviour
- Any other reason deemed appropriate by the staff at Strides Therapy Clinic
The equine movement portion of therapy will cease and the remainder of the session will continue inside (where appropriate).
During equine movement, the therapist is constantly using their clinical skills and evidence based practice to determine the best treatment session for each individual client. The therapist will determine the duration of equine movement, the equine and equipment used and the positions best suited to each client’s needs. This may remain the same or may change from week to week depending on the client’s changing needs. The therapist is trained and highly skilled in observing clinical needs and adjusting accordingly to provide the most effective treatment possible.
If you have concerns or queries please do talk with your therapist.