The word hippotherapy is derived from the greek word Hippos, meaning horse and refers to the treatment or therapy aided by a horse. Hippotherapy uses the multi-dimensional movements of a horse to achieve specific therapeutic functional outcomes. The horse's movement mimics the pattern of the human gait. This movement will facilitate improved coordination, respiratory control, sensory processing, and motor planning. Specially trained occupational therapists and at times physical therapists and speech-language pathologists will use selected horses as mobile therapeutic treatment tools. 


While on a  horse the child is required to make postural adjustments as the horse moves helping to increase balance, trunk stability, postural control, core strengthening, and endurance. 


The child has no active influence on the horse and is placed in various positions to participate in a multitude of activities that will enhance many therapeutic areas at one time.


While on horseback a child recieves input to the vestibular, proprioceptive, visual, tactile, and overall sensory systems.


Increased functional outcomes that could be expected are:

  • Reactive postural adjustments

  • Standing posture

  • Gross and fine motor function

  • Muscle symmetry

  • Endurance

  • Mobility skills

  • Coordination

  • Sensory processing skills


*For more information or sign up for hippotherapy services please email Brighter Futures. 

Brighter Futures

Therapeutic Learning Center

Specializing in 

Sensory Integration Therapy