Sundance Circle Hippotherapy

As the therapist approaches him with the helmet, Nathan smiles in excited anticipation. He’s about to begin another hippotherapy session. Perched high up on the horse’s back, he’ll practice communication and coordination skills.

Nathan has Down’s Syndrome and autism. His parents are ecstatic to see the progress he has made with through therapy with horses at Sundance Circle Hippotherapy.

“It’s amazing how quickly and immediately they could get him engaged,” his father said. “And the things that started changing in him. He’s coming alive— we’re really starting to get to know him a lot better.”

Sundance Circle Hippotherapy is one of only two hippotherapy facilities in Washington State. This innovative therapy has been shown to improve fine motor coordination, improve posture and flexibility, help build muscle strength, and relax tight muscles.

For Rocket, a boy who was born with a mitochondrial mutation, hippotherapy sessions have focused on strengthening his core muscles and helping him swallow. He has shown major progress, and can now sit up on the horse on his own. “My hope for Rocket is that he will walk one day,” said John Payne, a Physical Therapist and owner of Sundance Circle.

In addition to physical benefits, interaction with horses can improve a patient’s self confidence, concentration, and socialization skills. For Nathan and Rocket, hippotherapy has done those things and more. Visit Sundance Circle Hippotherapy’s website to find out more, or to enroll in therapy. 

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