Hippotherapy is a treatment strategy used by occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech/language pathologists, that utilizes equine movement as part of an integrated treatment plan. The term is derived from the Greek word “hippos”, which translates to “horse”.

Specially trained, licensed therapists work within the scope of their practices to treat clients in individual sessions, designed to meet client goals by using the horse’s movement and the client’s position on the horse, aided by hands-on intervention of the therapist.

The equine in a hippotherapy session is guided by a professional horse handler, as directed by the therapist, and unlike therapeutic (or adaptive) riding, the emphasis is on functional treatment outcomes rather than riding skills.

For more information on hippotherapy, or to find a therapist in your area, please check out the American Hippotherapy Association website.