Beginning of Hippotherapy at Clwyd Special Riding Centre (CSRC)
Hippotherapy began formally with a three year feasibility study at CSRC in 2006 in response to demand from hospital and school therapists. A 20 year old woman was riding for rehabilitation, following a stroke and head injury, sustained whilst driving her car. The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Therapeutic Riding physiotherapist, Ann Mayfield, working with her experimented with Joanne lying supine (on her back) along the back of the horse. This improved her walking pattern afterwards and many people observed this. She and her family helped Ann seek sponsors and grants to set up a longitudinal study to demonstrate efficacy of hippotherapy. The Penny Brookes Memorial Fund was a major contributor. (Penny had been a Trustee at the Centre)
The study objectives were 1.To test long term demand for hippotherapy in North Wales. 2. To establish sustainable financing outside Riding for the Disabled Association. 3. To test measured outcomes related to Quality of Life issues. (ref: Horses for Body Mind and Soul International Congress of Therapeutic Riding Munster Aug: 2009 , p6)
Video recording and analysis was valuable for timing improved postural control and producing DVDs for the clients to show at school and to attract future sponsors.
Following the presentation of the results at the Federation for Riding for the Disabled International (FRDI) congress in Germany 2009, Ann Mayfield retired. Having secured further funding the programme began in its present form with Lynne Munro and continues to date.
Ann Mayfield BA MCSP