Therapeutic effects of a horse riding simulator in children with cerebral palsy

Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2011 Oct;69(5):799-804. doi: 10.1590/s0004-282x2011000600014.


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of horse ridding simulator on the sitting postural control of children with spastic diplegia.

Method: Forty children were randomly divided in a group using the simulator (RS) and a group performing conventional physical therapy (CT). FScan/Fmat equipment was used to register maximal displacement in antero-posterior (AP) and medio-lateral (ML) directions with children in sitting position. At the pre and post intervention stage both groups were classified according to the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) and, after intervention, by the AUQEI questionnaire (Autoquestionnaire Qualité de vie Enfant Image).

Results: Comparison between groups disclosed statistically significant pos-intervention improvement both in the AP (p<0.0001) as in the ML (p<0.0069) direction in the RS group.

Conclusion: The horse ridding simulator produced significant improvement in the postural control of children in sitting position, additionally showing a higher motor functionality and a better acceptance of the therapeutic intervention.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebral Palsy / rehabilitation*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Equine-Assisted Therapy / instrumentation*
  • Equine-Assisted Therapy / methods
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Horses
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Treatment Outcome