Freedom Reins

Research has proven that we create an emotional attachment to animals. This bond can help us heal both emotionally and physically.


what is Freedom Reins?


Creating opportunity for sensory development through equine therapy

Research has proven that we create an emotional attachment to animals. This bond can help us heal both emotionally and physically. Because of this, animals can play a significant role in your child's therapy. Specifically, we have found that horses can reach children on a personal level through what is called "Hippotherapy." Equine therapy can especially benefit children with autism due to motor, emotional, and sensory sensations when riding a horse.

In 2008, Kidsource founded our Freedom Reins therapy program to help our clients develop the bonds with the horses that will in-turn help them meet their goals with their family relationships, their friendships and in school.

How it works:

With hippotherapy, a child will experience many different types of beneficial sensory stimulation -- muscles and joints receive deep pressure stimulation from bouncing and holding positions (like kneeling or standing on the horse), and the brain receives vestibular stimulation (to sense movement and balance) as the horse moves and changes speeds.

Hippotherapy provides the sensory stimulation that helps a child organize his body for complex tasks. For some children, this may be as simple as being able to produce voice or vocalizing; for others it may be using muscles in a way that is complicated to perform a task. The therapist is always in control of the horse's movement, choosing activities that will help achieve specific outcomes. Some examples include:

  • Reducing muscle tone (e.g., spasticity) with slow, rhythmic movement

  • Improving attention and postural control with fast, erratic movements

  • Decreasing sensory defensiveness or sensitivities with full-body contact (when the child pets or hugs the horse).

  • Improving right and left coordination by steering the reins

  • Developing visual-motor skills with hiding puzzle pieces along a trail that need to be found

Based on the research of sensory input and integration, Freedom Reins can provide the modality of equine assisted therapy using the horse, and its movements as a therapeutic tool to facilitate outcomes through developmental, physical, occupational and speech therapies by addressing a wide variety of skills such as:

  • Sensory Integration

  • Language Development

  • Postural Control

  • Range of Motion

  • Trunk Stability

  • Fluency

  • Mobility

  • Social Skills

  • Motivation and Attention

Contact one of our Patient Coordinators today to learn if Freedom Reins is right for your child and family.


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