FAQs | Hippotherapy, Physical, Occupational Therapy- Children's TherAplay

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Hippotherapy?

Hippotherapy is a physical, occupational or speech and language therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement. Hippotherapy literally means "treatment with the help of the horse" from the Greek word, "hippos" meaning horse.

Specially trained physical and occupational therapists use this treatment for clients with movement dysfunction. In Hippotherapy, the movement of the horse influences the client. The client is positioned on the horse and actively responds to his movement. The therapist directs the movement of the horse; analyzes the client's responses; and adjusts the treatment accordingly. This strategy is used as part of an integrated treatment program to achieve functional outcomes.

What that means?
A licensed, specially-trained physical therapist, occupational therapist or speech language pathologist may use a horse as a treatment tool within their therapy session, just as they might use a ball, balance beam, physio ball or toy.

Is there Available Research on Hippotherapy?

Yes.  Hippotherapy has been used as a formalized theraply alternative since the 1960s, when it began to be used in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.  For information of Hippotherapy research, visit the American Hippotherapy website:

Will My Insurance Cover TherAplay's Therapy Treatments?

TherAplay is an in-network provider with most private insurance carriers as well Indiana Medicaid and Children’s Special Healthcare Services. 

Each insurance plan can vary, so be sure to contact your insurance carrier to see what benefits your plan provides for outpatient physical and/or occupational therapy.

If your insurance benefits have been maximized, there are options for self-pay and TherAplay's scholarship program

What Is the TherAplay Scholarship Program?

TherAplay could have been established as a small private clinic, catering only to select families capable of paying the full cost of services (via insurance or out of pocket). Instead, TherAplay fundraises more than $500,000 per year to be able to offer a Scholarship Program for families who have maximized their insurance benefits in a given year. Without scholarships, dozens of special needs children would have to go without this innovative and effective therapy tool in their rehabilitation program.

TherAplay's Scholarship Program puts an innovative rehabilitation therapy within reach of children who would not normally have access to cutting-edge treatments. It is difficult to find pediatric therapy for children under the age of 16 at all, let alone a clinic like ours that is able to utilize such an effective tool (the horse) that most clinics aren't able to offer.

More than 20 percent of children who receive therapy at TherAplay benefit from our Scholarship Program.

TherAplay Families

"The progress Cole has made is beyond anything we could have imagined. It is heartwarming to know your child is loved by everyone here."

Cole's Family

"We feel very blessed to have become a part of the TherAplay family of therapists, staff and other families."

Suzanne Adcook, TherAplay parent

"Brendan squeals and claps when we pull into the entrance at TherAplay.  He's made so many gains since he started.  The horse is amazing."

Brendon's Mom, TherAplay parent

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