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What is Hippotherapy?

Hippotherapy literally means "treatment with the help of the horse." It refers to the horse as a therapeutic tool in which the patient sits on the horse and accommodates, with automatic reaction to the three-dimensional swinging motion of the horse's back at a walk. The patient does not attempt to influence the horse in any way but merely reacts to the influence that the movement of the horse has on him.


The utilization of hippotherapy as a therapeutic treatment tool may enhance or promote a patient's level of independence. Our therapists have special training in the use of the horse as an integral part of the treatment plan.

Team Approach

The hippotherapy team is comprised of:

  • horse
  • patient
  • sidewalkers
  • horse expert
  • therapists
  • physician

Who Can Benefit from Hippotherapy?

Hippotherapy is beneficial for children and adults with mild to severe movement dysfunction or cognitive deficits such as:

  • Multiple Disabling Conditions
    • Cerebral palsy
    • Muscular dystrophy
    • Spina bifida
    • Congenital anomalies
    • Residual disability related to infection and trauma
    • Developmental delay
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • CVA
    • Traumatic brain injury
    • Functional spinal curvature
  • Orthopedic Conditions
    • Limited range of motion
    • Limited mobility
    • Increase tone and spasticity
    • Decrease strength, endurance, balance and coordination
  • Cognitive Deficits
    • Limited attention span
    • Problem solving deficits
    • Memory deficits
    • Learning disabilities
  • Speech-Language Difficulties
  • Visual Deficits
    • Visual-perceptual problems
    • Visual-motor problems
  • Psychological Benefits
    • Improves self-esteem
    • Improves confidence
    • Improves motivation
    • Improves attention span


A physician or nurse practitioner's referral for physical therapy, occupational therapy, and/or speech-language pathology is required.

For More Information

For additional information about this program or related rehabilitation services, call (662) 377-7215 or 1-800-THE-DESK (1-800-843-3375).