Riding for the Disabled, Riding Therapy, Physiotherapeutic Riding, Hippotherapy, Special Needs Riding and more… It has many names, but put basically, it means treating people with special needs with the assistance of a very unique helper – a horse!
Tumanako (pronounced To-mana-core) is Maori and means, “hope”. Andrew Rowland gave the riding therapy this name in recognition of the invaluable knowledge given to him by the men and women of the New Zealand Riding for the Disabled Association.
Many studies have been conducted overseas with regards to the effects of Hippotherapy: improvements in joint mobility, balance and coordination, relaxation of spasticity, increased muscle power, increased self-confidence through improved self-image, improved learning, concentration, spatial awareness of neurologically impaired individuals and more.
These acknowledged benefits can be seen in the numerous special-needs stable yards around the globe that treat thousands of needy patients each year. Internationally, more than 45 countries, each with their own Riding for the Disabled Associations, fall under the guidance of the Federation of Horses in Education and Therapy International (HETI).
Operating since 2007, Tumanako is a specialised practice that utilises horses to provide a multi-disciplinary therapeutic approach that encompasses the fields of Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy.