What is hippotherapy?
Hippotherapy is maybe not the most famous term and a lot of people are eather not aware of its meaning or dont even know that such places can be found in their surroundings.
The origin of the word comes from ancient Greek and it is a combination of word “hippos”, meaning horse; and “therapy”, meaning treatment.
It is a form of physical, occupational and speech therapy in which a therapist uses the characteristic movements of a horse to provide carefully graded motor and sensory input, which results in improving neurological function and sensory processing.
It has been used to treat patients with neurological or other disabilities, such as autism, cerebral palsy, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, head injury, stroke, people with down syndrom, spinal cord injury, behavioral disorders , language and speech disorders, balance, post traumatic disorders, affective disorders, addiction…
Hippoterapi Turkiye center
Last week we visited Hippoterapi Turkiye center in Eskişehir. We were welcomed there and hosted by representative Cafer Yıldırım and project coordinator Ayşegül Sayın. They showed us around and introduced us to this young project.
This center was developed as an project by the name ‘’Let’s Develop Networks and Create Opportunities for Hippotherapy’’. It is funded by European Union with the cooporation of Eskişehir Osmangazi University.
The center consist of 1 legal representative, 1 project coordinator, 2 project assistants and around 20 local volunteers.
The aim of this projects in to help people with disibilities, mostly autistic people, people with down syndrom and adicts by using horses and psycical and mental connection which they can create with people. There have been many researches which proved that the movement of horses is sincronised with the human movement so in that way horses help with the mobility of people with disabilities.
Curently in the center are three horses, which came there from Mahmudiye horse breeding vocational school; two dogs and six cats.
The centar consist out of outdoor pastures, inside pasture, horse stables and room for threatment of the horses. The facility is surrounded with a lot of green area which belongs to Osmangazi University.
The duration of this project in total is 46 months and the center is also working within ESC (European Solidarity Corps) and accepting volunteers from abroad.
Due to pandemic situation in the country and winter condition the center does not have a lot of activities at the moment. But staff and local volunteers are there every day doing their regular jobs and helping in maintaining the center. Their job consist of cleaning the stabbles, feeding the animals, general cleaning, and also helping in realisation of hipotherapy. There is a lot of activies planned in the upcoming period like recontruction and buliding a common area, cleaning the forrest…