What is Hippotherapy?

Hippotherapy is Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, or Speech and Language Therapy that utilizes the unique movement of the horse as part of a comprehensive treatment plan in order to reach therapeutic goals. When a therapist uses hippotherapy as a treatment technique, they are using the movement of the horse to influence the client.  Therapists who utilize hippotherapy in sessions should have horse experience and additional training through the American Hippotherapy Association (AHA). (And no, it does not use a hippopotamus. “Hippos” is the Greek word for horse.)

To learn more about hippotherapy, please visit AHA’s website:


Reining Liberty Ranch has a partnership with Making Strides Therapeutic Services to offer occupational therapy using hippotherapy.

Occupational Therapy: OT’s help give you the tools for living, or occupation. OT’s evaluate a person’s ability to participate in daily life activities across the lifespan, determine barriers, and utilize appropriate treatment techniques to restore function and reach client goals. http://www.aota.org/Consumers.aspx


Physical Therapy: PT’s help to get you where you need to go. Following an evaluation, PT’s use treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. http://www.apta.org/AboutPTs/


Speech and Language Pathology: SLP’s help you to communicate effectively. They identify, assess, and treat speech and language disorders, including swallowing disorders.  http://www.asha.org/

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