Countless children in the USA suffer from autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, profound developmental delays as well as other physical, mental and emotional disabilities. Most require therapy from infancy to early adolescence. Each day without treatment causes a child to lose valuable time, missing or delaying crucial developmental milestones. Many families have limited resources to obtain these services for their children and health insurance rarely covers equine therapy.
Jacob's Fund provides hippotherapy and therapeutic riding for children who can not afford it. Hippotherapy is the process of administering physical, speech and occupational therapy by a trained therapist utilizing the movements of a horse to directly influence the patient. Therapeutic riding is the next step following hippotherapy. It fosters independence and includes various therapeutic exercises and activities, allowing the rider more advanced physical, psychological and social development.
Consistent equine therapy helps patients increase mobility and function; it enables individuals to learn to perform practical and purposeful activities; and ultimately, it helps people develop the life-skills needed to live as independently as possible. Through hippotherapy and therapeutic riding, Jacob's Fund gives children the greatest possible chance to overcome their disabilities and grow into more fully functioning members of their communities.