Hippotherapy is a treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement facilitated by a physical, occupational, or speech therapist. The therapist will change variables that include the horse’s speed and direction, the position of the patient, and the therapeutic activities the patient performs.
These decisions are made based on the patient’s specific needs. Because horseback riding gently and rhythmically moves the rider’s body in a manner similar to the human gait, riders with physical disabilities often show improvement in flexibility, balance and muscle strength.
Hippotherapy is exclusively for students with physical challenges and often times those students can transition into the therapeutic riding program after strength and balance have improved.