OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the hippotherapy influence on gait training in post-stroke hemiparetic individuals. METHOD: The study was constituted of 20 individuals divided into two groups. Group A performed the conventional treatment while group B the conventional treatment along with hippotherapy during 16 weeks. The patients were evaluated by using the Functional Ambulation Category Scale, Fugl-Meyer Scale, only the lower limbs and balance sub items, Berg Balance Scale, and functional assessment of gait (cadence) in the beginning and end of the treatment. RESULTS: Significant improvements were observed in the experimental group including motor impairment in lower limbs (p=0.004), balance, over time (p=0.007) but a significant trend between groups (p=0.056). The gait independence, cadence and speed were not significantly in both groups (p=0.93, 0.69 and 0.44). CONCLUSION: Hippotherapy associated with conventional physical therapy demonstrates a positive influence in gait training, besides bringing the patients' gait standard closer to normality than the control group.
stroke; hemiplegy; hippotherapy; gait; horseback riding therapy