Horseback physio gives new poise to disabled

On a chilly winter’s afternoon in the Essex countryside, eight-year-old Esha Ilyas sits astride her beloved horse Blaze, but not in the usual fashion: she is facing the cob’s hindquarters as he is led around the paddock, with her arms stretched high above her head.
Minutes later, without saddle or stirrups, she is holding other equally unorthodox positions: sitting sideways, with arms held out in front; lying flat on the horse’s back; sitting up straight with arms outstretched. It’s as unnerving as watching acrobats at the circus. In fact Esha is having hippotherapy, a little known treatment for profoundly disabled children which appears to be having some stunning results.
Half an hour later, with help, she dismounts, grinning broadly. “I feel fine after that,” she says.
Watching her on Blaze, it’s hard to believe that Esha has cerebral palsy, diagnosed when she was 18 months old. The condition, usually caused by brain injury during pregnancy or birth, means that some of her muscles – particularly those in her legs – are excessively tight, which prevents the full range of movement; while weakness in other muscles that normally maintain posture means she has had problems holding herself upright.

Source  - Telegraph

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