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Hippotherapy as a Treatment Strategy

Hippotherapy

Hippotherapy is a physical, occupational, and speech-language therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement as part of an integrated intervention plan. Horses provide multidimensional movement, making them an excellent tool for increasing trunk strength, control, and balance.  

Equine movement can also be used to facilitate coordination and timing, grading of responses, respiratory control, sensory integration skills, and attention skills. Patients respond enthusiastically to this enjoyable experience in a natural setting.

speech


Physical Therapists use the movement of the horse to increase range of motion, strength, balance, postural control, and endurance, which promote functional outcomes in areas related to gross motor ability such as sitting, standing, and walking.

Occupational Therapists are able to combine the effects of equine movement with other standard intervention strategies to work on fine motor control, sensory integration, attention skills, and functional daily living skills in a progressively challenging manner.

Speech-Language Pathologists use equine movement to facilitate the physiologic systems that support speech and language. When combined with other standard speech-language intervention strategies, hippotherapy can help improve communication disorders.

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and American Physical Therapy Association support the use of hippotherapy within the context of physical and occupational therapy sessions as a treatment tool.

Click here to read about the differences between hipportherapy and therapeutic riding.


AOTA Letter of Endorsement

APTA Letter of Endorsement

 

Our Partners

 American Airlines     •    American Hippotherapy Association    •     Aurora Vet Center    •        Becca’s Legacy    •     Canine Companions        Capt. James Lovell VA Hospital    •    Department of Children and Family Services         Division of Specialized Care for Children     •    DuPage County Vet Center  •  Easter Seals    •     Experience Works    •    Families of the Fallen    •   Fort Sheridan First Calvary      Goldie B. Floberg Center    
                  The Gracie Center   Hines VA      Illinois Joining Forces      •  Illinois National Guard     •      Jesse Brown VA Hospital    •    Lake-McHenry County Veterans' Initiative     •    Madison VA Outpatient Clinic             McHenry County Adult Program    •   McHenry County College    •    McHenry County Veterans Assistance Commission   •     Midwest Center for the Blind  Milwaukee VA Hospital     •   The Mission Continues                  Mustang Heritage Foundation     •    National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification   •       North Boone School District      •     Northern Illinois Special Recreation Association     •    Oak Park Vet Center  
 Operation Support Our Troops     •   OSCAR Mikes • Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship Intl.      •    PATH Intl. Equine Services for Heroes  Provider Connections     •   PEAK Construction   •    Pioneer Center     Presence Saint Anne            Provider Connections     •    Regional Access and Mobilization Project    •       Regional Alternative School, Winnebago County     •    Rockford Career College    •     Rockford Passages Hospice          Rockford VA Outpatient Clinic   •    Rock Valley College     Salute, Inc.    Saint Coletta's of Illinois          Seguin Services, Inc.    •     Senior Community Services Employment Program                                                    Special Education District of McHenry County       •   Special Olympics of Illinois         Starlight Foundation       The Heart of a Marine Foundation    •    William Shatner's Hollywood Charity Horse Show                        Wounded Warriors