Definition: Hippotherapy means “treatment with the help of the horse.”
Equest Therapy Services provides outpatient physical and occupational therapy to children and adults with movement dysfunction. Disabilities that benefit from Hippotherapy include (but are not limited to) cerebral palsy, stroke, traumatic brain injury, and multiple sclerosis. Hippotherapy – using equine movement as a treatment strategy – has been successfully used to achieve functional outcomes in therapy throughout the United States since the late 1970’s.
In Hippotherapy, the client receives treatment while mounted on the horse. The horse provides a consistent and rhythmic movement pattern that helps improve trunk mobility and strength, postural strength and endurance, proprioception, weight bearing and motor planning. Hippotherapy is used primarily to achieve physical goals but may also affect psychological, cognitive, behavioral, and communication outcomes. At Equest, our therapists have strong treatment backgrounds in posture and movement, and neuromotor function. They are all state-licensed therapists and are specially trained in the use of Hippotherapy as a treatment strategy.
The therapy team consists of the therapist, a PATH International-certified riding instructor, three volunteers, the horse, and the client -- each member of the team plays a unique role to ensure the client receives the best and most effective treatment. New clients receive an initial evaluation, during which functional goals are established and a plan of treatment is outlined based on the Neurodevelopment Treatment Approach (NDT). The client participates in a 50-minute individual therapy session that is generally divided into 3 parts -- preparation before mounting, balancing and strength work on the horse, and then functional activity after dismounting.
*A Physician’s prescription is required for treatment.
To apply for Hippotherapy sessions, please see the Therapy Program Applications page underneath the Program tab.
Hippotherapy Fee Schedule
Fees are $180 per 50 minute treatment session and payment is generally due at the time of service. Equest does not bill directly to insurance companies, so families must contact their insurance company to arrange for reimbursement of fees. If a rider or client is enrolled with one of the CLASS agencies, we will bill that agency for the fees. Equest is not a Medicaid/Medicare provider.
- Initial evaluation = $180
- 10-week fall session = $1,800
- 10-week spring session = $1,800
- Summer Hippotherapy = $180/hour; number of hours depends on schedule offered