What is Hippotherapy?

Hippotherapy is a mounted treatment session led by a physiotherapist, occupational therapist or speech-language pathologist. Hippotherapy does not teach the skill of riding, it uses and manipulates the horse's unique movement thereby affecting the client’s neuromotor, sensory and cognitive systems to achieve functional outcomes. This program is part of a therapeutic treatment plan under the guidance of a designated health professional.

What differentiates Adaptive Riding and Hippotherapy?

Adaptive riding (AR) is defined as equine assisted activities that are adapted for individuals with special needs. The goals of AR may include sport, leisure, socialization, physical and education related. AR programs are lead by CanTRA certified horse professionals.

Hippotherapy does not teach the skill of riding. It uses the horse's unique movement to produce active responses in the client in order to effect their functional goals. HPOT is a part of a therapeutic treatment plan under a designated health professional.

There are many cases where a client may be involved in both HPOT and TR sessions as they may have both functional or medical goals as well as riding or social goals.

Why use a Horse for Therapy?

The horse has a unique multi-dimensional movement that is highly organized and "lends" itself to our riders. The horse's spine and pelvic movement is very similar to humans. By manipulating the horse's movement characteristics and patterns we can directly influence our client's active movements necessary to achieve their specific goals.

The hippotherapy environment provides a multi-systems experience that can't be reproduced in the regular clinic. These systems include: motor, musculoskeletal, nervous, respiratory, circulatory, visual, touch, hearing, speech, language and cognition. Treatment sessions can be tailored to focus on a select few but as in real life scenarios, clients will learn to organize many systems interacting simultaneously.

How do I Register for Hippotherapy?

You will nedd to complete the following:

  1. Participant Application
  2. Professional Referral Form
  3. Atlanto-Axial X-Ray Verification (if required)

Once your application is complete we will set up an initial assessment visit to determine your program plan.

Cick here to bring you to the applications page.

For more information, please call 519-986-1247 and ask for Robyn, or email program@hopehavencentre.org