Hippotherapy is a term that refers to the use of the movement of the horse as a strategy by Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Speech Language Therapists to address impairments, functional limitations and disabilities in patients with neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction. This strategy is used as part of an integrated treatment program to achieve functional
Hippotherapy is not a horseback riding lesson. It is physical, occupational or speech therapy, which is approved by a physician and implemented by a team that includes a licensed, credentialed therapist.
Hippotherapy is implemented by a professional therapist (occupational therapist, physical therapist or speech language pathologist) in conjunction with a competent horse handler and a specially screened and trained therapy horse. There is direct hands-on participation by the therapist at all times. The horse’s movement is essential to assist in meeting therapy goals. The goal of hippotherapy is to improve neurological functioning in cognition, body movement, organization, and attention levels to improve function off the horse.
Hippotherapy is a one-on-one treatment and generally occurs until the client meets discharge criteria. In hippotherapy, the treating therapist continually assesses and modifies therapy based on the client’s responses. Physical, occupational or speech therapy in which hippotherapy is utilized, is reimbursable by medical insurance (third party).
Currently, Shining Hope Farms is the contact for Hippotherapy Services. These services can be held at Bit of Hope Ranch.