I do several varieties of therapy (aqua therapy, yoga therapy, music therapy, equine/horse therapy). All of the therapies provide something unique, & nothing is necessarily “better” or “more effective.” Aqua therapy reduces gravity & allows me to walk if I am held right, in the water. Yoga therapy helps me find “long lost muscles” that can be stretched, strengthened, & “retrained.” But since I have always loved horses & music, I do have my favorites:
Red Arena (horse therapy) uses the big muscle groups, & has provided the most drastic results in the shortest amount of time, & has enormously changed my day-to-day life! After just a few months of riding, the strength in my core at least doubled what strength I had developed over 10 years of physical therapy at home! Increased strength in my muscles has helped me to sit unassisted on many “normal” chairs, made it possible for me to participate more in family activities & travel, it has increased my independence in daily tasks around the home, & increased my enjoyment in life, in general.
The thing I have wanted to gain back the most is my speech. Music therapy got me started, but horse therapy strengthened my diaphragm, & then music therapy is the one that does all the fine motor work & puts the muscles (that I develop in horse therapy) to work so I am able to relearn speech. All my therapists hold conversations with me, which only strengthens my ability to speak, & helps my music therapist know what things I need to work on to help me be more clear. All the therapies have provided something that has been essential in my progression, but horse therapy has provided additional, unexpected emotional benefits, as well.
I can’t say that everyone will have the same benefits as I do with music therapy (since I know “musical minds” are “wired” different-so those w/o a musical background may respond better to occupational therapy), but equine/horse therapy seems a bit more universal.