Impact of adaptive devices on horses, assisting persons, and riders with cerebral palsy in a therapeutic riding program

Lana Kaiser1, Mathew J. Edick6, Katherine Smith Buckler1, Camie Heleski2, Sherman Gorbis3, Bonnie DePue6, Liz Lewis2 & LeeAnn J. Kaiser5

1 Michigan State University Department of Medicine, College of Human Medicine
2 Michigan State University Department of Animal Science, College of Natural Science
3 Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
4 Michigan State University Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences
5 Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine
6 CHUM Therapeutic Riding

Hypothesis: The goal of this study was to evaluate the impact of three different adaptive devices used to facilitate therapeutic horseback riding for riders with cerebral palsy (CP), the horses, and the assisting persons. The study hypothesis was that there is no difference in clinical benefit to the rider; stress or physical saddle pressure to the horse; or the level of exertion required from assisting persons when using any of the three adaptive devices. Population: Individuals with varying disability due to cerebral palsy who participated in a therapeutic horseback riding program at a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) Premier Accredited Center.

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Keywords: cerebral palsy, equine behavior, therapeutic riding
Posted in 2019, Volume 7, No. 1