The influence of therapeutic riding and hippotherapy on children with spastic cerebral palsy - parents' perceptions
Parent interviews were used to determine influences of therapeutic riding (TR) and hippotherapy on children with spastic cerebral palsy. Research on the influence of TR and hippotherapy will serve to inform parents of their choices in therapeutic modalities in regard to children with spastic cerebral palsy. Data were collected in the form of qualitative one-on-one interviews. Two parents with children participating in TR and three parents with children participating in hippotherapy were interviewed. Constant comparison method was used to derive meaning units from the first interview transcript and matched against subsequent interviews. Four themes emerged: (a) physical improvements, (b) developing independence, (c) overcoming fears, and (d) differences in barriers and motivations for TR and hippotherapy. Parents perceived that both TR and hippotherapy positively affected their children's psychological and physical aspects of wellbeing. The one apparent difference between the barriers for TR vs. hippotherapy was the cost associated with hippotherapy.