Physiotherapy for people, with horses
Hippotherapy and Equine Facilitated Physiotherapy in the Chiltern Hills
Hippotherapy is a form of physiotherapy treatment which utilises the horse’s movement to achieve the desired responses in a client with disabilities. It is undertaken by Chartered Physiotherapists who have completed further in-depth post-registration training , and who are fully insured to work within their extended Scope of Practice.
Hippotherapy utilizes the movement generated by the walking equine to replicate the sensory input/motor output of the human pelvis during active walking. The goal is not to teach horse-riding skills, but rather to use the horse as a dynamic base of support upon which the client learns to control and co-ordinate their responses. The Physiotherapist can position the client on the horse in a variety of positions (e.g. astride facing forwards or backwards; sideways sitting; lying supine or prone; kneeling etc.) and the Physiotherapist can apply neuro-developmental and sensory integration techniques to help develop balance and postural reactions.
The Physiotherapist directs and is responsible for a highly trained team: the equine will have been carefully assessed and selected for its temperament and individual movement quality; a horse handler under the Physiotherapist’s guidance will control the speed and direction of the equine; a side walker will walk alongside the client to assist/support as required.
Often specialist equipment will be chosen by the Physiotherapist to maximise the transfer of the horse’s movement and warmth to the client e.g. a soft sheepskin sitting pad will be used in the place of a traditional saddle. (ACPEA acpea.org)
Before you are able to begin to have hippotherapy sessions, you will need an assessment.
Please contact Hannah on:
Flamstead Yard Riding School
Bank Farm Riding for the Disabled Group have very kindly let me use their home and gorgeous ponies for hippotherapy sessions. Boasting both an indoor and outdoor arena, it is possible to continue sessions in any weather. Set in the beautiful Chiltern Hills, just outside London, it is accessible for all.
For information about Bank Farm RDA, please see their website bankfarmrda.com
Chiltern Hippotherapy Practice was founded by Hannah Cahill.
Hannah is a Chartered Physiotherapist with over 10 years experience in physiotherapy in both the NHS and private sector since qualifying from the University of Nottingham with a degree in Physiotherapy. She still currently practices as a Band 7 Physiotherapist in the NHS Camden Learning Disability Service. Hannah is a specialist in Postural Management for people with complex disabilities, managing posture over 24 hours in seating, lying supports and standing equipment, having gained a postgraduate diploma from Oxford Brookes University. She is also trained in hydrotherapy and Rebound therapy. Hannah has extensive knowledge of a range of neurological conditions and their associated symptoms.
Hannah has always had a passion for horses and has been riding since she was young, she is pictured here with her horse, Oscar. She is a keen volunteer with Riding for the Disabled (RDA). She has been so inspired by all the new research that has been available recently around Hippotherapy and Equine Facilitated Therapy and wanted to be able to utilise this herself. She began her Hippotherapy qualification in 2019 and completed a whole year of voluntary work in Hippotherapy and therapeutic riding in the UK, Argentina and Tennessee, USA. She qualified in Hippotherapy in 2021, founded the Chiltern Hippotherapy Practice and is providing sessions at Flamstead Yard in Buckinghamshire. Hannah is also on the Committee for ACPEA (Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Equine Activities).
Hannah Cahill BSc Hons MCSP AACP
HCPC Registered (Health Care Professions Council)
CSP Registered (Chartered Society of Physiotherapists)
ACPEA member and Committee Member (Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Equine Activities)
ACPPLD Member and SE Region Treasurer (Association of Chartered Physiotherapists for People with Learning Disabilities)
As opposed to learning to how ride, this is using the movement of the horse and various positions and exercises to influence the body
For adults, or progression towards RDA, therapeutic riding helps to learn the basics of how to ride along with therapeutic exercises
For those who are small enough, backriding with Hannah offers extra support, whilst still being able to achieve many different positions
Equine Facilitated Physiotherapy
This includes leading the pony, grooming, and other activities especially chosen to achieve a specific goal
We rely on our amazing and generous volunteers to assist with our hippotherapy sessions.
All volunteers are given specific training in working with our ponies and assisting the physiotherapist in hippotherapy sessions.
If you would like to volunteer please get in touch!!
Bella is a gorgeous, sweet natured pony. She is used in hippotherapy and RDA, and competes in show jumping with her loaner! What a superstar!
Don't tell the others, but Titi is quite a favourite! He loves doing hippotherapy, RDA and hacking, but most of all he loves food!!
This beautiful girl may only have one eye but it does not stop her! She is skilled in hippotherapy, RDA and is my backriding partner. Incredible!
He might be the youngest, but Tim has quickly picked up hippotherapy, RDA, riding AND carriage driving!! What a legend!!
Please contact us directly with any questions, comments, or scheduling inquiries you may have.
Flamstead Yard Riding School, Ashley Green, Buckinghamshire, HP5 3PH
Monday - Sunday: 7am - 7pm