Security Measures in Equine Therapy (I)
Within the range of alternative therapies there are numerous therapies, most of them coincide in the well-being of the human being. Among these therapies we have the Equinoterapia that as previously has been spoken of the subject. Applies to people with different pathologies and disabilities. For this reason it is important that safety measures must be taken into account before, during and after the Equine Therapy sessions.
Equestrian assisted therapy is a therapy used by physical or mental health professionals. This is carried out in order to promote the rehabilitation of children, adolescents and adults. At the neuromuscular, psychological, cognitive and social level, by means of the horse as a therapeutic and coadjuvant tool.
In the sessions we work with specific horses, trained to behave appropriately before any strange element. The horses do not stop being animals with a force more than considerable and this must be taken into account. We must consider the possibility that they may have a reaction at any time that endangers the safety of the professionals, and above all, that of the person with whom they are working.
Safety in Equine Therapy
Therefore, a series of safety measures are usually taken. Not only during the sessions, but also before starting the Equestrian Therapy Program:
- All people who are going to be part of the Equestrian Therapies program must provide a document from their specialist or head doctor that certifies their fitness for riding.
- If contraindicated, sometimes the patient may participate in other activities in which the same objectives are worked on and it is not necessary to ride.
- Another requirement is to have a license or sports insurance for the activity. Currently there is no specific license for Equestrian Therapies or Adapted Riding. Only it is necessary to make it a horse license.
- The equinotherapy centers must have insurance for horses, facilities and professionals. Users are only fully covered when they make personal insurance.
When the patient is alone, sitting on the horse should wear a helmet (traditional or other type of protective helmet) to cover the head. That means that all patients who take active hippotherapy and mount therapy will ride with a helmet.
The horse should never be left alone with the patient. Even if the patient already has experience in handling it and the horse is very calm and calm. It is necessary the assistance of an assistant at all times, either during the cleaning of the horse or at work on the track.
The assistant, usually deals with the handling of the horse from the floor or provide manual assistance to the patient when he rides alone.
State of the saddle and harness
Before beginning the session, the therapist should check the condition of the saddle. Every parts of saddle will be checked (flange, chairs, staples, belts among others). There is the probability could arise that the person in charge of the care of the horse lacks the necessary knowledge.
Many of the safety measures in equine therapy are the same as should be considered for riding. Additionally, measures regarding the learning process with respect to the horse are considered. Additional measures are those that seek to ensure the therapeutic process. It must be ensured that it does not harm the patient.
In the next article we will continue talking about safety measures in equine therapy.
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