Hippotherapy – physical, occupational and speech therapy on horseback
Hippotherapy is a treatment strategy used by physical, occupational or speech therapists that utilizes speciﬁc equine movement to address functional therapy goals as part of a patient’s integrated plan of care. Equine movement is continually modiﬁed during a treatment session based on the client’s response and over a period of time in response to the patient’s needs and rehabilitation progress.
The attributes of the horse’s movement include the ability to provide rhythmic, symmetric, multi-dimensional and directional movement that can be repeated consistently during a treatment session. This treatment strategy offers the patient organized motor and sensory input that can be modiﬁed by the therapist to facilitate achievement of functional goals. Hippotherapy treatment strategy is used to treat individuals as young as 2 years old to adults who have a diagnosis of a neuromuscular disorder, cognitive impairment, sensory processing dysfunction which may be compounded by social-emotional disorders.