Equine-assisted occupational therapy


From the Greek word hippos meaning horse; a medical treatment utilizing the purposeful manipulation of equine movement as a treatment strategy to address functional goals

In simpler terms: through hippotherapy, specially-trained physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech/language pathologists apply the movement, rhythm, and repetition of the horse as a treatment strategy to help patients achieve therapeutic goals. 

How does it work? 

It’s all about movement. The horse’s pelvis shares the same three-dimensional planes as the human pelvis. This movement is multi-dimensional and provides systems-wide impact. 

Receiving the movement transmitted by the horse’s pelvis helps the kiddos develop physical skills  essential for daily life. 

In short: The dynamic movement of the horse combined with the dynamic environment leads to functional change. 

By applying different combinations of patterns, speeds, and riding postures, our highly-trained therapists are able to provide precisely the sensory and neurological input each child will benefit from most.

Occupational therapy - riding quadruped


When I think about Joan from when he first started [receiving physical and occupational
 therapies at Children’s TherAplay] to where he is today it reinforces the power and the magic of hippotherapy, that he was receiving OT and PT services elsewhere and that when he came here he made such gains so quickly. It’s incredible.

—Occupational therapist Leah

Get to know Joan

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