Hippo Therapy for the Elderly

By Camaron Abundes
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- Patients who have suffered from a stroke or any other ailments at Deerings Nursing Home can get back in the saddle, with the help of a horse.

A local nonprofit called H.O.R.S.E. or Helping Our Riders Succeed in Education, visits Deerings twice a week to give patients the chance to ride.

"You get to see the smile on their face, you get to see the improvement," said Jodie Rose, the president of H.O.R.S.E.

It's called Hippo Therapy, and it helps patients increase muscle tone, by riding horseback.

"It works for a number of different types of residents, residents who are falling, residents who have had a stroke, CP victims, just different residents," said Rose who along with Catherine Porter and her husband Rusty, started the nonprofit six years ago.

"The horse gives them an opportunity to look forward to being able to get out of a nursing home setting, to maybe to an assisted living or to getting home," said Catherine Porter.