Hippotherapy is “treatment with the help of the horse." Occupational therapists and physical therapists use the movement of a horse to help children and adults. The term comes from the Greek word, “hippos,” which means horse.
Why Choose Us?
How a horse can help with treatment:
- Their walk is similar to the movement of a human pelvis when walking
- They provide sensory input that can be, rhythmic, variable, and repetitive
- As the child or adult responds to the input, changes in function can occur
- They serve as a great motivator
- They are in natural settings
Benefits of hippotherapy:
- Arousal and attention
- Body awareness
- Muscle strength
- Joint mobility
Who Can Benefit?
Children ages 2 and older may be eligible to participate
Individuals with the following diagnoses including, but not limited to:
- Genetic Syndromes
- Cerebral Palsy
- Sensory Processing Difficulties
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Developmental Delay
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Guillain -Barre
- Multiple Sclerosis
Children with medical conditions may need to consult with their physician and therapist prior to participation. Precautions or contraindications to be considered include:
- Allergies (related to horses and the outdoors)
- History of animal abuse
Location of Service
Services are provided to outpatients at Cincinnati Therapeutic Riding and Horsemanship located at 1342 State Route 50, Milford, OH 45150. Contact Laura Benza, Program Director, at 513-831-7050 for information and scheduling.
To learn more about hippotherapy, please explore the following resources:
American Hippotherapy Association (AHA)
Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH)
Recent articles for use:
- Whalen, C. N. & Case-Smith, J. (2012). Therapeutic effects of horseback riding therapy on gross motor function in children with cerebral palsy: A systematic review. Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, 32(3), 229–242.
- Zadnikar, M. & Kastrin, A. (2011). Effects of hippotherapy and therapeutic horseback riding on postural control or balance in children with cerebral palsy: A meta-analysis. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 53, 684-691.
Additional Programs and Services
Learn more about the various specialized programs and services
we offer in the Divisions of Occupational and Physical Therapy and Therapeutic Recreation.