Hippotherapy is a form of physical, occupational, or speech therapy that makes use of the movement of horses. Horse therapy is used as a component of a comprehensive treatment plan designed to provide functional results. To address the motor demands of each patient and to foster functional outcomes in skill areas connected to gross motor ability, such as sitting, walking, and standing, the physical therapist can overlay a range of motor activities over the horse's movement. The occupational therapist can gradually increase the difficulty of working on fine motor control, sensory integration, feeding skills, and attentional skills by combining the effects of the equine movement with other intervention strategies.



Hippotherapy started to come in use as a therapeutic technique in the 20th century. Physical therapists and horseback riders who had seen the advantages of horseback riding for people with impairments first developed it in Germany. The German Association of Therapeutic Riding (Deutscher Kuratorium für Therapeutisches Reiten), the first official hippotherapy program, was founded in 1969. Over time, the idea of hippotherapy spread to other nations. In order to promote and oversee therapeutic horseback riding programs, the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association—now known as the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International—was established in the United States in 1969.
Due to its distinctive advantages, hippotherapy has become recognized as a separate treatment approach. The rider's body is stimulated and tested by the horse's movement, which encourages physical advancements including muscle building, coordination, balance, and posture. Additionally, people with sensory processing issues may find the repeated and rhythmic movements of the horse to be comforting and calming.

Focus theme / core-concept

Utilizing a horse's gait and breathing pattern as a therapeutic tool is known as hippotherapy. The Greek word "hippos," which means horse, is where the phrase "hippotherapy" originates. A licensed therapist who has obtained specialized training in using horses in therapy sessions, such as a physical therapist, occupational therapist, or speech-language pathologist, often conducts it.


1. Helps in improving strength and balance, increases symmetry in posture, regulates the extremities, and trunk core power, enhances gross motor abilities, boosts one's endurance, and respiratory regulation, improves body consciousness, improves muscle mass and power, enhances large-motor abilities and fine-motor abilities, enhance motion range, enhance movement of the hip joints; lumbar area and pelvis

2. Helps in increasing capacity to communicate one's needs and thoughts, boosts comprehension of visual cues and coordination of vision; sensory data, and tactile reactions, enhances the focus

3. Enhance self-worth and possibilities for social engagement, enhance self-esteem and confidence, increase in number of group interactions, increase zeal for treatments, increase pleasant exchanges with the animal

4. Helps in improving the synchronization between the two hands, and enhances the sensorimotor performance,

5. Helps in improving voice quality; vocal communication and oral motor skills


1. Enhance physical performance: Hippotherapy attempts to improve motor abilities generally as well as muscle tone, strength, balance, and coordination. It can aid in the improvement of range of motion, postural control, and core stability in people.

2. Enhance sensory processing: People with sensory processing issues can benefit from the rhythmic, repetitive movements of horses because they help them better integrate their senses.

3. Hippotherapy can help you improve your cognitive and perceptual abilities: including your ability to pay attention, remember things, solve problems, and be spatially aware. Additionally, it can enhance perceptual abilities including spatial orientation and visual tracking.

4. Improve social and communication skills: Hippotherapy can help people with speech and language disabilities communicate and develop their language skills.

5. Enhance emotional health: Interacting with horses in a therapeutic setting can help people feel more motivated, confident, and self-assured. It offers a distinctive and pleasurable experience that helps ease tension and stress.


1. In mounted therapy, the patient is carried around on the back of the horse while the therapist directs the animal's movements. To accomplish particular therapeutic objectives, the therapist may employ a variety of positioning approaches.

2. Movement variations: Depending on the needs of the patient, the therapist can change the horse's gait (such as strolling or trotting) to give a variety of movement patterns, intensities, and challenges. Each gait has a unique effect on the rider's body and can be adjusted to meet particular objectives.

3. Sensory input: Depending on the needs of the individual, the rhythmic movements, warmth, and tactile stimulation of the horse provide sensory input that can either be calming or stimulating. To alter the sensory experience, various saddles, cushions, and equipment may be employed.

4. Participation in activities: To enhance particular motor, cognitive, or communication skills, the therapist may include various activities during the session, such as reaching for items, playing games, or doing particular exercises.