Ridgebury Farm and Stables is located on 56 acres in beautiful Ridgefield, Connecticut. We are the only American Hippotherapy Association recognized facility in New England and New York. Ridgebury Farm specializes in Hippotherapy and Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) for individuals with special needs. Our core values surround the health, well-being, and progress of the rider. We are a wheelchair accessible facility. We hope to see you at the farm soon!
What is Hippotherapy?
The American Hippotherapy Association defines Hippotherapy as how occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology professionals use evidence-based practices and clinical reasoning in the purposeful manipulation of equine movement as a therapy tool to engage sensory, neuromotor, and cognitive systems to promote functional outcomes. Horses are the only animal that can simulate the pelvic movement of a human at the walk, which helps to lay the neurological groundwork for a normal gait pattern on the ground. The term "Hippotherapy" is derived from a Greek word literally meaning "therapy with the help of a horse." The practice of Hippotherapy began in the 1960s in Germany an accompaniment to traditional therapy. It benefits the patient both physically and mentally. Hippotherapy requires three people for each session: the therapist, someone to lead the horse, and a side-walker to support the patient.
What is Equine-Assisted Therapy (EAT)?
While Hippotherapy is an occupational, physical, or speech therapy session using the horse as therapy tool, Equine-Assisted Therapy (EAT) is closer to an adaptive riding session. The client it taught to ride the horse, while all physical, sensory, and mental challenges the rider may face are taken into consideration in creating the plan for each lesson. This allows for a low pressure environment where the rider can set the pace of the lesson according to their needs. Equine-Assisted Therapy is proven to be beneficial in helping people with a variety of mental health challenges ranging from depression, anxiety, autism, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and more. Horses are intuitive creatures that are sensitive to the emotions of humans, therefore they make great partners on the path to healing.