American Hippotherapy Association Level II Hippotherapy Treatment Principles Course

Friday, June 16 - Monday, June 19, 2017
at Children's TherAplay

Course hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Sunday and 8 a.m.- 1 p.m. Monday

Please note: Class space is limited to 16 participants.
To secure your spot, we suggest registering early.


  • Early registration is $800 for AHA members / $925 for non-members
  • Beginning May 17, rates are $850 for AHA members / $975 for non-members

To register, complete and submit the form in the
course brochure to Children's TherAplay

Mail: 9919 Towne Road, Carmel, Indiana 46032
Fax: (317) 872-3234 ♦ Email:


How does a therapist use equine movement?

When utilizing hippotherapy treatment strategies, the patient engages in interventions designed to challenge balance, increase stability, integrate sensory information and interact with the environment. In this controlled therapy environment, the therapist directs the horse’s movement and carefully grades the sensory input.

In a physical, occupational, or speech therapy session which incorporates hippotherapy as one of the treatment strategies, the patient benefits from a foundation which is established through the movement of the horse to improve neurological function and sensory processing. This foundation can be generalized to a wide range of daily activities.

Meet your AHA faculty instructors

Karen Gardner, MOT, OTR, HPCS

Karen Gardner has a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy; is a Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist; and PATH, Intl. Master Instructor and Driving Instructor. She is a consulting OT and an adjunct professor for the OTA program at Lone Star College. Therapy specialties include sensory integration, aquatic and neurodevelopmental techniques. She also incorporates the concepts of Floortime (from Dr. S. Greenspan) into her treatment sessions.

Karen is certified as an Advanced Practitioner in Natural Lifemanship for Trauma-Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. She is an active member of the AHA Faculty and has presented at local, state and national conferences on a variety of topics within occupational therapy, hippotherapy, adaptive riding, and horse training.

Karen’s current equine experience includes competitive carriage driving and competitive trail riding. She utilizes a variety of natural horsemanship techniques in her horse training and therapy sessions. She is a member of AOTA, TOTA, PATH Intl., LSTEN, ACTHA, and several carriage driving associations. Karen is a past president and former board member of the AHA.

Lisa Harris, MSVS, PT, HPCS

Lisa practices physical therapy at Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky where she incorporates hippotherapy through a partnership with Central Kentucky Riding for Hope.

Lisa has both an MS in Physical Therapy and Veterinary Science, specializing in equine biomechanics. She is a hippotherapy clinical specialist and has served on the AHA board as vice president, research chairperson, and newsletter editor. She is currently on the AHA board as the education chair.

Lisa is a PATH, Intl. Advanced Therapeutic riding instructor and graduate ‘A’ pony clubber who has evented through the Intermediate Two Star Level and has coached young riders through the Preliminary level.

Learn more

About this course

This curriculum is the follow-up to AHA Level 1 Treatment Principles – Level I, with an emphasis on patient treatment and more advanced equine knowledge necessary for hippotherapy as an equine discipline. Lecture, discussion, collaborative work, and actual patient treatment will occur over four days.

Who is this course
designed for?

This course is open to licensed speech, physical, and occupational therapists and assistants (PT's, PTA's, OT's, COTA's, SLP's, and SLPA's).

Course prerequisite

Successful completion of the AHA, Inc. Level I Treatment Principles Course and a copy of your certificate must be included with your registration.

education credit

27 contact hours are available for this course. Certificates of attendance with contact hours will be provided to all participants to submit to their individual professional organizations for continuing education credit.

Hotel and travel information

Children TherAplay is located 30 minutes north of Indianapolis International Airport and just five minutes from the hotel.

Please contact us early if you plan to fly in as we may be able to help with airport and hotel transportation.

A block of rooms will be held at the Drury Plaza Hotel through May 19 at a special rate. Book a room online or by calling (317) 587-2701. Be sure to reference Children’s TherAplay.

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