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Sarah is currently providing Occupational Therapy Services
focusing on animal assisted therapy and hippotherapy as a therapy strategy

*Sessions take place in a covered, outdoor arena in Trumansburg, NY*

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What is Hippotherapy?

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.

Therapists integrate equine movement, along with other therapy tools and/or strategies, to address the treatment goals/functional outcomes for their patients as part of their PT, OT or ST treatment plan.


Best practice dictates that occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech-language pathology professionals integrate hippotherapy into the patient’s plan of care, along with other therapy tools and/or strategies.

What to Expect

  • Initial Screening: An OT screening will be completed at the farm in order to identify areas of strength and need, as well as to evaluate appropriateness for use of hippotherapy as a treatment strategy. Parent education provided on the use of hippotherapy.

  • About the session: A typical OT session incorporating hippotherapy will be 45 minutes in length. The first 10-15 minutes of the session will entail tacking up, grooming, and horse care. These activities get the horse and client acquainted while targeting fine motor, executive functioning, and bilateral coordination skills. The riding portion of the session is 25-35 minutes. A trained volunteer will be leading the horse, while the therapist and another volunteer walk alongside the client on the horse. During the sessions, different riding positions (side sitting, forward, backward, lying down) will be used to target specific goals identified in the client’s plan of care. 

  • First session: Client will be fitted for a helmet and all safety procedures will be reviewed. Riding may take place at the client’s own pace/comfort. The total riding time this session will be reduced in order to include safety procedures and to ensure client’s comfort level prior to mounting. If they are not yet comfortable mounting, other activities incorporating the horse will be done on the ground to increase their comfort. This will continue each session until the client is comfortable mounting. 

  • Pricing: 

    • 45 minute session in the arena - $130

    • ​Initial screening/intake: $75​

    • Initial occupational therapy evaluation: Please complete contact form for more information


Why the Horse?

  • The multi-dimensional movement of the horse provides systems-wide impact on human neurophysiology

  • The motor and sensory input from the horse’s movement  is highly organized and therefore helps organize the client’s motor and sensory systems. 

  • The horse’s movement can be changed in many ways to address specific areas of need

  • The horse’s movement is rhythmic, gentle, consistent and can be sustained over time

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