What is the difference between hippotherapy and therapeutic riding?

Hippotherapy is physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech therapy conducted on horseback by a licensed therapist. These sessions are normally one on one with a therapist working towards therapy goals. Hippotherapy patients can be as young as 2 years old to start services. Therapeutic riding is an adapted horseback riding lesson taught by a certified therapeutic riding instructor. The goals of these group lessons are riding skills with the outside benefits of increasing fine and gross motor skills, strengthening muscles, working on social skills and rhythmical movement great for sensory processing and focus! Both types of services are assisted by volunteers leading the horse and walking on either side of the patient or rider. As the patient or rider grows and develops their skills and safety awareness, those volunteers may be taken away to create more and more independence.

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