Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



The term hippotherapy is derived from the Greek word for horse, or hippos. The American Hippotherapy Association (2007) defines hippotherapy as an occupational, physical, or speech therapy intervention strategy, using the movements of a horse, used as part of an intervention program to facilitate functional gain. In hippotherapy, therapists use the movements of the horse as a vehicle for improving clients' functional limitations. Hippotherapy is an intervention method mentioned in the occupational therapy literature more than 20 years ago (Engel, 1984) that has received minimal research attention within our field. Little is known about the role of occupational therapists in hippotherapy and the way in which they use this form of intervention.

Therefore, the purpose of the survey described in this article was to explore occupational therapists' perceptions of their role in hippotherapy, the uses of equine-assisted therapy in practice, and these practitioners' backgrounds and training.


American Occupational Therapy Association's Developmental Disabilities Special Interest Section Quarterly









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