The term hippotherapy refers to how occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology professionals use evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning in the purposeful manipulation of equine movement as a therapy tool to engage sensory, neuromotor and cognitive systems to promote functional outcomes.
Our on-site occupational therapy pediatric practice integrates hippotherapy into the patient’s plan of care, along with other therapy tools and/or strategies.
Hippotherapy does require a physician's referral and may be payable by insurance.
What is Hippotherapy?
What is Adaptive Horseback Riding?
Clients with a variety of disorders, including but not limited to the following:
Traumatic Brain Injury
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Learning or Language Disabilities
Yet, therapeutic riding and hippotherapy are not for everyone. Potential clients must be evaluated on an individual basis and a physician's release is required for all clients.
The horse's gait is very similar to a human's: the length of the stride, number of strides per minute, and the three planes of movement (medial/lateral, anterior/posterior, and up/down). For some of our riders, it is the first time they have been able to feel what walking is like.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do you provide services for adults? A: No, we are a pediatric facility, serving children ages 3-18.
Q: Is there a waiting list? A: At MTRP, we do not have a set number of weeks or sessions that the children are scheduled to ride for and so riders may stay for as little as a few months to as long as several years. Therefore, we often have a waiting list and we cannot guarantee an opening at any specific time. We do our best to get new riders into an opening as soon as possible.
Q: What are our payment options? A: At MTRP we do our best to work with each rider and their family to find affordable options to pay for services. We work with several third party funding sources and we accept various grants/scholarships from other organizations. It is best to contact us to speak specifically about your child's situation.
Q: How long does a typical session last? A: Children typically ride once a week for 30 minutes.
Q: Do I need to purchase a helmet for my child to ride? A: MTRP requires horseback riding helmets for all riders. We do have several available for children to borrow during their sessions. You are welcome to purchase your own helmet for your child as long as it is PATH International approved (must be a horseback riding helmet).
Q: Do you provide services year-round? A: Yes, MTRP is open year-round. We always ride in our indoor arena for safety purposes. MTRP does close if Kenosha Unified School District is closed due to snow and any time there is a heat advisory for Kenosha County and at other times up to our discretion.
Who Can Benefit?
Adaptive horseback riding (not the same as hippotherapy) emphasizes and teaches riding skills taught by PATH International registered instructors.
Lessons incorporate life skills and IEP goals in an enjoyable setting. The rider learns how to control the horse, giving them a great sense of accomplishment.
How Does It Work?
Improved balance & equilibrium
Improved head & trunk control
Improved postural alignment
Normalization of tone
Positive effect on respiration & circulation
Positive effect on bowel & bladder
Provides strong graded tactile, proprioceptive, and vestibular input