What is Hippotherapy?

What is Hippotherapy and How to Make a Career in it

With a variety of occupations needed in this progressive era, the world is coming up with new ways to tackle different situations. There are various unique courses that have been emerging in the last few years. One career that is coming forward is Hippotherapy. It is part of medical literature and is a kind of therapy that helps patients improve their physical health. This article will give you all the details you need to know about hippotherapy.

About Hippotherapy

Hippotherapy is a way in which the therapist uses the movements of a horse to give physical and speech therapy to the patients. Hippotherapy has been used to help people who suffer from disabilities such as neurological disorders like autism, head injury, stroke, spinal cord injury, behavioral disorders, and psychiatric disorders. 

Credits : Autism Research Institute

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How Does it Work?

A horse’s movement is multidimensional and is comparable to the pelvis of a human. Sitting on a horse would need the use of every muscle in the body. However, in the environment of hippotherapy, it could activate all kinds of sensory integration such as tactile, vestibular, visual, and proprioceptive stimulation. It has also been clinically proven that just being in the vicinity of horses causes changes in brain wave patterns. Thus, the environment helps the brain to process.

Hippotherapy as a Career

Hippotherapy is done when an experienced physiotherapist is present, along with a horse, and horse caretaker. Physiotherapists control the horse’s gait and its velocity and move the horse in different directions. These movements help to develop neuromuscular and sensory reactions in the patient. In this industry, therapeutic riding is also gaining a lot of support. It helps to improve the quality of life for people who are restricted with physical or mental disabilities.  

Also Read : Mental Health Awareness Month in India

Job Roles in Hippotherapy

Some popular careers and important skills that are needed in the various areas of occupation are listed below:

  • In Administration, the positions available are Executive Director, a Member, being a part of the Board of Directors, etc. People can also be development executives and program managers. The important skills to be in such positions include management of meetings, business, human resources, accounting, training, along with the knowledge of the corporate wing and purchasing.
  • In Facility Management, there are positions for stable and grounds Maintenance. The skills required include a major understanding of rules and regulations of land use issues, area management, etc.
  • Animal Care is another field that is important to have thorough knowledge about. It is vital that the worker understands the anatomy of the horse, the health. Horse behaviour and handling are very important tasks as well. The positions open for this can be barn managers and hore caretakers. 
  • In Instructional Positions, people can take jobs as Head Instructor, Assistant Instructors, Volunteers, etc. To achieve this, some important skills required include management of the  Riding programs. The worker would have to manage participation, lesson plans, scheduling, certification, etc. 

How to Get a Hippotherapy Certification in the USA?

Wondering how you can become a certified hippotherapy professional? You have to get certification in the course. USA offers courses in Hippotherapy. Here’s everything you need to know about Hippotherapy in USA:

  • To become a certified hippotherapy clinical specialist, one must be currently licensed or certified to practice as a physical therapist, occupational therapist, or speech or language therapist in the U.S. 
  • Three years of full-time work in any of those professions is required.
  • A complete 100 hours of treatment in practice using hippotherapy is needed within three years of the application deadline.
  • A hypnotherapist should be comfortable working with horses and have riding abilities as well. 
  • The candidate has to appear for a certification examination and then have to pay the required fees. 

Hippotherapy in India

There are a small number of centers that provide only limited services in India. The patients in India do not receive a standardized or a controlled treatment procedure. Not just that, hippotherapy does not come under general health insurance. But hippotherapy centers are coming up, which are inaugurated by The Ministry of Health in the country. The number of centers that provide certified hippotherapy training is increasing. With the coverage of hippotherapy classes under general health insurance, there will be a time when effective and safe services are available to patients. To be a hypnotherapist, it is necessary to study psychology and get a license and a certification. 


How do you become a Hippotherapist?

According to the American Hippotherapy Association, applicants must have been in practice for at least three years (6,000 hours) and have at least 100 hours of hippotherapy practice within the last three years. Along with that, they have to pass an exam.

How much does a Hippotherapist make?

The average annual pay for Hippotherapist in the United States is $51,826 a year. 

Do horses help with anxiety?

This therapy has been helpful to treat anxiety, but certain clients might fear being around a horse and might not want to do this type of treatment. It might be possible that some people would have traumatic memories involving animals, and that person would not be willing to participate.

Is hippotherapy evidence-based?

Hippotherapy has a combination of different strategies for speech-language, occupational, and physical therapy with the help of movement, in addition to evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning, to engage the participant and achieve clinical outcomes.

Who benefits from therapeutic riding?

Therapeutic riding can benefit people who suffer from different challenges, be it cognitive, physical, emotional, or social. Horseback riding gives a sense of independence and mobility to a person with disabilities who may be restricted otherwise.

The importance of hippotherapy is acknowledged more deeply by physicians, and therapists in our country, a greater number of patients, and their families will benefit from this form of treatment. This was all about the Hippotherapy. For the latest updates around study blogs, you can follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and also subscribe to our newsletter. Leverage Edu wishes you all the best for all your future endeavors.

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  1. Hello, thank you for your article! Can you tell a precise place in India where can I go to Hippotherapy?

    1. Hi Anna!

      Hippotherapy is not very popular in India. There are some centres registered with the Ministry of Health in India. You can check the official website to get their names and addresses.
      Thank you.

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