Specialist Physiotherapy Intervention
This is a specialist physiotherapy intervention that uses the 3 dimensional movement of the horse in walk to correct and improve movement, balance, core strength, in the person on the horse.
REACH – Rehabilitation, Education, Assessment Centre for Hippotherapy is a registered Charity with Charity Number: 1158714.
This activity utilises the pony experience, being around our two miniature Shetlands who are quiet and friendly and loved being fussed, through patting, stroking, cuddling, brushing.
REACH will provide physiotherapy assessments to advise on particular
programmes of management for different conditions, or as part of a multidisciplinary approach to the management of different conditions to determine whether current provisions of care is appropriate.
Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) involves the interaction with the horse using ground work exercises to develop self awareness, to build a relationship with the horse, and improve confidence and self-esteem in the participant. It focuses on the experience that gives clients a chance to spend some time with horses on the ground, whilst giving them a safe place to unpack feelings and look at challenges in their lives in a fun, non-judgemental and relaxed way.
In 2021, we approached REACH for help as our teenage daughter (who is ASD with severe OCD very low self esteem and severe anxiety) had been unable to leave the house for over 6 months, despite support from EWMHS with a programme of CBT. After an initial chat with Beth we booked a series of half hour Equine Assisted Therapy sessions with Louise. Right from the first session, our daughter was hooked on the horses - they responded to her gently and in a way that encouraged her to interact. We are now several weeks down the line and have now booked some additional hour long sessions as we can see a huge difference in her self confidence and ability to cope is slowly managing to engage with everyday activities again such as going to school and the shops. The few weeks at REACH have made a far more significant difference than any other therapy due partly to the practical nature of the sessions, partly due to Louise's skills with both the horses and our daughter and partly due to the sheer unconditional love that the horses show her as she works with them. We would highly recommend others to consider the benefits of Equine Assisted Therapy and we would definitely recommend REACH and their team to others struggling with anxieties and low self esteem.
When I was looking for things to do to enrich my little one’s life, I thought that as I and all my family love animals and have horses that I would like to take him. I couldn’t find anywhere that would take a two-year-old with severe mental and physical disabilities.
It was by calling the RDA that I found out about REACH.
I had no expectations just hoped he would show some signs of enjoyment.
To my surprise not only did he enjoy it, he has changed; he is much more interested in his environment, he loves to touch things and even our pet dog is now no longer ignored but he seems interested in where he is and they have started to enjoy each others company.
He seems so much more vocal and engaging with the world around him and so much stronger and balanced.
He is surpassing everyone’s expectations both physically and mentally.
I love watching him enjoy himself and do something that is amazing to watch.
I cannot praise Louise and all the team at REACH enough.
His disabilities are brain damage, autism, cervicothoracic scoliosis, tethered cord syndrome, extreme sensitivity to external stimuli and toe walking.
My son Porter has been coming to REACH for just over a year and it has greatly improved Porter's speech and social skills. The staff are very caring and skilled at what they do. He’s even achieved grades in horse riding. Every session is varied and Porter loves coming. When Porter started he only lasted 10mins out of a 30min lesson as his attention was so bad but now he has a full lesson and loves it. He hardly said a word but now he is using sentences. He has learnt to be gentle with the horses and to slow down and relax. I would highly recommend any child with additional needs the horse riding sessions at REACH. REACH is a truly special place where children can thrive, learn and have fun in a happy safe environment.
Thanks Jamie hall (porters mum)