in the Saddle Hippotherapy Program
Maureen Corcoran is
a physical therapist who runs her own physical therapy organization,
Corcoran Physical Therapy. In September of 1994after
learning how effective horses are when applied as a treatment
modality, and after riding with her own daughtersCorcoran
founded Back in the Saddle Hippotherapy Program.
In January 1995, Corcoran began seeing mostly children referred
to her from physical therapy centers. She conducts the therapy
at Glen Grove Equestrian Center in Morton Grove, Illinois.
(See Hippotherapy Organizations.)
Corcoran noticed that children with cerebral palsy or developmental
delays seemed to have the best outcomes.
Patients respond to the steady rhythmic movement of a horse
and experience increased balance, strengthening of the trunk,
and greater control of head movements.
Corcoran has two physical therapists working in the program,
as well as three assistants and several volunteer horse-handlers
and side-walkers for safety. Corcoran encourages the use
of hippotherapy as an effective therapy tool. She says hippotherapy
is covered on insurance policies that cover physical therapy.
Back in the Saddle Hippotherapy Program belongs to
15 HMOs and PPOs. The organization is CPT/MAC certified
by the Division of Services in Specialized Care (DSSC).
Corcoran also works as a physical therapy consultant for
other therapeutic riding programs.
Corcoran enjoys working with patients and witnessing the
tremendous progress made through hippotherapy. Six-year
old Mallory Corrus, a little girl with cerebral palsy has
made significant progress. Says Corcoran, "In my 17 years
experience as a physical therapist, there has not been a
more effective treatment modality than the use of a horse's
movement for treating neurodevelopmental disorders."