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The American Hippotherapy Association, Inc., defines hippotherapy as a physical, occupational or speech therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement. The word hippotherapy derives from the Greek word hippos, meaning horse. The term hippotherapy refers to the use of the movement of the horse as a treatment strategy by physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech/language pathologists to address impairments, functional limitations and disabilities in patients with neuromotor and sensory dysfunction. This treatment strategy is used as part of an integrated treatment program to achieve functional goals.

In 2016, of the 767 PATH Intl. Centers reporting data, 216 centers offered hippotherapy at their centers.

Occasionally, those working at PATH Intl. and its member centers may be asked if we have "hippotherapists." While the term is often used, there is no such occupation as a hippotherapist. Those who conduct hippotherapy sessions are physical and occupational therapists and speech/language pathologists. Hippotherapy is the treatment strategy these skilled professionals use to achieve pre-set functional outcomes for their clients.



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