Hippotherapy is a physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech-language pathology treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement and differs from therapeutic riding in that learning riding skills is not the goal.
From the Greek word hippos, meaning horse, Hippotherapy literally means “treatment with the help of the horse”. The term refers to how occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology professionals use evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning in the purposeful manipulation of equine movement to engage sensory, neuromotor, and cognitive systems to achieve functional outcomes. In conjunction with the affordances of the equine environment and other treatment strategies, hippotherapy is part of a patient’s integrated plan of care.
In Hippotherapy, the horse influences the rider rather than the rider controlling the horse. The rider is positioned on the horse and actively responds to his movement. The therapist directs the movement of the horse; analyzes the rider’s responses, and adjusts the treatment accordingly. ¹
LTR Hippotherapy Provider:
Catherine Wycoff, PT, DPT, GCFP, HPCS
Catherine is a physical therapist and a Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist who works with both adults and children with orthopaedic and neurological diagnoses at LTR as well as in her private practice. She teaches continuing education workshops for physical therapists and holds a PATH Intl. Registered Level Therapeutic Riding Certification.
For more information on this service please contact us.
1. American Hippotherapy Association