August Newsletter


ARC Hippotherapy is a registered Charity and a member of The Riding for The Disabled Association (RDA).

What is Hippotherapy?

Hippotherapy literally means treatment with the help of a horse, from the Greek word hippos meaning horse.

The therapist utilises the rhythmic movement of the walking horse. A client appropriately positioned on the horse experiences and responds to significant sensory input. There are also psychological, speech, language and cognitive benefits.

Hippotherapy is a treatment carried out by, or under the direction of a specially trained Physiotherapist the hippotherapist. Dr Valerie Cooper is our trained hippotherapist. 

What is a Volunteer required to do?

Our volunteers help to make a real difference to the lives of disabled children and adults. Volunteers are essential to the group and the sessions could not run without them.  The duties performed by them are:

  •  Equine Team – This team is responsible for grooming and tacking up the horses ready for each session and for leading the horse around the school, instructed by Valerie.  This role is for those who have knowledge of horses OR are keen to learn.  The horse we use will have been carefully assessed and selected for its temperament and individual movement quality.  We currently use Gizmo, Ozzy2, Gemima, Holly and Freddie. 
  • The Rider Team – This team is responsible for assisting the participant during the session.  They walk alongside the participant to assist/support as required, instructed by Valerie.
  • Training – Full training is given for all roles and responsibilities so previous experience with horse management or dealing with those with special needs is not required.  Our aim is to give each volunteer the best experience possible.  Some volunteers like to get involved in both the Equine and Rider teams. Others aren’t so keen to get so involved with the horses and therefore just do Rider team duties or vice versa.

When and where?

We usually run 8, 10 or 12 weeks blocks.  The sessions take place in the indoor small school at Aberdeen Riding Club on Friday mornings between 8.30am and 12.30pm.  Our volunteers are not required to attend every week or for the entire morning.  We have an online sign-up system so each volunteer can see which spaces are available and can sign up for the days and times which suit them.

If you are interested in volunteering with us, please contact me and I can send you more information.  Also please feel free to come along to one of our sessions to see what we do.

Thank you for your interest.

Lisa Matheson
Group Secretary
Email :
Mobile : 07730 664811

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