This study evaluates the separate effect and retention of 12-week traditional (TE) and horse (HE) exercise programs on physical function in healthy older participants (61 to 87 years old). Thirty-eight participants were randomly assigned to three groups: TE (n = 17), HE (n = 10), and control group (n = 11). TE and HE underwent a supervised exercise program (3 day/week). Maximal gait speed, muscle strength, and body balance were assessed at weeks 0, 12, and 16. Only TE and HE displayed significant improvements (P < .05) in knee extensor strength, and only HE had faster gait speed. Marginal balance improvements were found only in HE in the medial-lateral direction. However, TE showed larger improvements in handgrip than HE. The largest retention was in knee extensor strength but most of the exercise effects were lost in the follow-up. Besides TE, exercise with a horse may be an alternative option to older adults, provided that they want to interact with the animal.
Silvia Aranda-García, Albert Iricibar, Antoni Planas, Joan A. Prat-Subirana and Rosa M. Angulo-Barroso
* Manuel Jorge Bolaños * Alfonso Bilbao * Antonio Oña * 1 2015 23 1 72 77 10.1123/JAPA.2012-0313 Comparative Effects of Horse Exercise Versus Traditional Exercise Programs on Gait, Muscle Strength, and Body Balance in Healthy Older Adults Silvia Aranda-García * Albert Iricibar * Antoni Planas