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Horse riding for children with cerebral palsy is said to bring joy to many of the children, their parents and their therapists. But does it improve the children’s functioning? Several small, uncontrolled studies have suggested that it does. It has been claimed that it reduces muscle tone and encourages relaxation. The conclusion drawn from a systematic review published in 2007, however, was that a larger, controlled trial was needed. Now (Elise Davis and colleagues. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 2009;51:111–9; see also Commentary, ibid: 88) researchers in Melbourne, Australia have reported such a trial.
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