Terminology and rules change from country to country. For example, the accepted name for the physically disabled may be ‘handicapped’, ‘invalid’, ‘disabled’ or now I think the correct term is ‘physically challenged’. Also in some countries you need to be certified or have a degree in order to work in these fields but in some countries none exists so anyone can work whether qualified or not. The information on this page is a general guide.
TWO CASE STUDIES
A man with cerebral palsy came from a very poor family who had no understanding of his disorder; as a result he grew in the form of the foetal position. Had he received any sort of therapy as a child he would be able to walk and lead a fairly normal life, doubly tragic, as he is very intelligent. He was with ANIMO for about 8 years during which time he made tremendous improvement. But the interesting thing about this case is that from time to time while riding a horse named Sorca, the leader noticed that the horse would put its ears back and stiffen its muscles - and seem generally uncomfortable. We had no idea what brought over the change, after a fairly long period of time we noticed that shortly after the horse’s reaction the man would go into spasms. In time the student learned to read the horse’s signals and was able to relax and in most cases stop the spasm.
A four year old that walked on tiptoes due to short tendons was due for an operation to cut the tendons. We decided to try a new approach. We had a very short but wide and strong pony. He would ride standing up with two side walkers providing extra support, bareback and barefooted, he would ‘walk’ on the pony’s back while at the walk. After only two sessions he was able to walk with his heals on the floor. It still took more work for him to be able to walk normally but it saved him an operation.