Equine Assisted Therapy
According to The American Hippotherapy Association, Incorporated’s Practice Statements Manual, the term “Hippotherapy” is described as a term to identify the use of equine assisted movement as a treatment intervention utilized, as appropriate, by properly trained providers within the rehabilitative disciplines of Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Speech Therapy. Hippotherapy has been in use since the 1970’s.
The American Hippotherapy Association was founded and incorporated in 1992 in response to industry needs for professional standards of practice in its application, theoretical practice frameworks for utilizing equine assisted movement interventions and to ensure safety in its implementation through the provision of advanced training opportunities.
Providers are required to sit for testing once all prerequisites have been met in order to attain national certification thereby demonstrating entry-level service competency for those interested in offering equine assisted movement interventions to broaden the treatment repertoire within their clinical practice. Therapists use hippotherapy as a means to positively impact, thereby improve individual patient outcomes through purposeful manipulation of equine movement to engage sensory, neuromotor, and cognitive systems has been substantiated through evidence-based practice, ongoing research into emerging areas of practice as well as clinical reasoning.
In conjunction with the affordances of the equine environment and other treatment strategies, hippotherapy is part of a patient’s integrated plan of care. Horses selected for this kind of therapy meet specific guidelines regarding quality of movement, temperament, and other specialized training. Also, progress between the patient and therapy are tracked by standard documentation to follow the patient’s plan of care. If have any questions or would like more information, please click contact us, or ask your therapist. We love questions!