Hippotherapy: Therapeutic Horseback Riding

By Donna M Warfield, Co-Executive DirectorCircle of Hope Therapeutic Riding, www.chtr.org Equine assisted therapeutic (hippotherapy) riding provides therapy to children and adults with disabilities including, but not limited to attention deficit disorder, learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, Down syndrome and head trauma. Therapeutic riding is a special training program in which individuals with disabilities learn horse-riding skills. Medical doctors, physical therapists, educators, psychotherapists. and other professionals have come to recognize the numerous physical, psychological, and social benefits of riding therapy. Physical benefits can include improved balance, strength, coordination, and endurance.  Especially for the physically handicapped, the warmth and movement of the horse stimulates unused muscles. Individuals with emotional and developmental disabilities benefit in language development (there are stories of children who spoke their first words ever on horseback) and concentration.  In many children and adults, riding therapy can boost confidence and self-esteem and foster greater independence. Because learning riding skills provides multi-task learning, there can…

Fat and Brain Development

by Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND, co-founder, Developmental Delay Resources Fat and brain development: A diet high in hydrogenated fats (trans fats) leads to neurological development problems. One of the most dramatic changes in the western diet over the last 50 years has been a shift in the type of fat we consume. Few people understand the serious risk posed by shelf-stable or hydrogenated oils.  These relatively new fats were introduced as part of the war effort over a half century ago. With the butter shortage, these chemically stabilized oils were used widely at home and by food manufacturers who loved their cheap cost and total resistance to spoilage. What started as a food manufacturer’s dream has turned into a brain development nightmare for the last three generations brought up on fats that make a nice cookie but were never meant to be part of brain tissue.  The brain is 60% fat. Myelin, the fatty coating of the neurons or brain…