In the early 1950s Mrs. Elsebet Bodthker a Norwegian Physiotherapist and accomplished horsewoman with Madame Hartel of Denmark both realized the benefits of equestrian riding. Together formed programs using equine assisted methods and developed exercises by other therapists aiding several children and adolescents suffering from Polio.
Around the same time Ulla Harpoth another physiotherapist from Copenhagen also had the notion as Bothker. In Germany Adaptive therapy was originally used as a treatment to address the orthopedic disease known as Scoliosis.
However, riding as a form of therapy truly gained popularity in the United States after the 1960 Olympics where games for 400 athletes with disabilities were held in Rome. It use in society evolved from that point eventually being used by instructors, motivators and educators for youths with self-esteem issues. It also progressed dramatically within the UK. It was now widely used to help people with amputations and other disabilities.
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