Hippotherapy is a physical, occupational, and speech therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement and is part of an integrated treatment program to achieve functional outcomes.
The horses’ pelvis moves in the same tri-planer motion at the walk as we do. Trained certified therapist work in a controlled hippotherapy environment. The therapist modifies the horse’s movement and carefully grades sensory input. The sensory input from the horse impacts on the patient’s vestibular, tactile and proprioceptive systems, which provide a foundation for the development of sensory motor abilities.
Specific riding skills are not taught (as in therapeutic riding) but rather a foundation is established to improve neurological function, sensory processing, physical mobility and strength.