rider on horse with two guides


Equine-assisted activities include hippotherapy and therapeutic horseback riding.  Hippotherapy is part of a rehabilitation approach used by occupational, physical and speech therapists.  The therapists work under a physician's prescription and generally have accreditation and training by The American Hippotherapy Association and or PATH, International.  The belief is that riding helps to improve postural control, trunk strength, balance, endurance. Therapists may address motor planning and weight bearing. The horse movement also offers sensory input to vestibuluar, proprioceptive, tactile and visual channels.  While therapeutic horsemanship may address the same physical, emotional or sensory needs, it is a recreational program of horseback riding adapted to people with disabilities. Here is a great tool to help differentiate the two equine-assisted activities.  


American Hippotherapy Association
Provides education, facilitates research and promotes equine-assisted therapy as an effective strategy that improves the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. Located in Fort Collins, CO.


Children's TheraPlay Foundation, Inc.
A pediatric outpatient clinic in Indianapolis that incorporates hippotherapy into physical and occupational sessions.


PATH INTERNATIONAL (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International)
Provides certification and accreditation programs plus educational resources, including an annual international conference. Located in Denver, CO.


Freedom Rider Tack Shop
Carries specialized products for horseback riding with a disability.