Hippotherapy: philosophy of treatment through horse riding
Hippotherapy as a treatment has been known to mankind since the 5th century BC. "The father of medicine” and philosopher Hippocrates pointed to the fact that sick people get better faster if they ride on horseback. Horses free people from dark thoughts causing merry and bright ones.
Later, the philosopher Denis Diderot wrote in the mid-18th century: "Among the exercises, the first place belongs to horse riding. It can help to cure many diseases but it can also prevent them as soon as they occur“.
Widespread use of horse riding for people with disabilities has began since the mid-20th century. In 1952, a Dane Liz Hartell who had both legs paralyzed after poliomyelitis became the first woman in the world to win the title of the Equestrian Champion on her horse Jubilee. The girl won the silver medal. It should be noted that Liz could not independently mount a horse or get down from it. Thanks to the energy, strength of her will and optimism, Liz has become an example how to fight for restoration of the normal capacity of the body to other people with disabilities. "Horseback riding for people with disabilities is a wonderful thing; it inspires, it seems to be giving new life and awakens the spirit”, said Liz Hartell.
Paralympic dressage as a sport was widely spread in the 70 's in Sweden and the United Kingdom. In Russia, the absolute champion of the Paralympic dressage is Nina Anufrieva from St. Petersburg. In 2012, she took the first place on her mare Elastic at the Russian Championship and had previously won the European Championship in Belgium. That's what Nina said about the paralympic dressage: “For me it is the ability to walk, run and even dance and get sports results being a shared body with the horse! "