What is the difference between therapeutic riding and hippotherapy?

According to the American Hippotherapy Association Inc (2020) The term “Hippotherapy” refers to the inclusion of purposefully manipulated equine movement into a client’s plan of care as a treatment tool or strategy.  This can be integrated when appropriate towards a clients goals by occupational therapy, physical therapy or speech language pathology professionals while working within their scope of practice.  Occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech language pathology services are all healthcare services, which require medical necessity.  They are intended to provide habilitation or rehabilitation.

Purposeful manipulation of equine movement used as a treatment tool within an individualized therapy plan should not be confused with riding lessons for individuals with special needs.  It is the position of AHA Inc. that when describing riding lessons for individuals with special needs, the term “therapeutic riding” may imply “therapy” and may be confusing.  

Adaptive or therapeutic horseback riding is a riding lesson for individuals with special needs.  Adaptive horseback riding lessons are provided under the guidance of a horseback riding instructor.  The purpose of adaptive horseback riding lessons is to teach riding skills and/or allow for participation in horseback riding for individuals with a variety of needs.  Adaptive riding instructors may provide adaptations to tack, equipment, physical supports or their teaching style, to allow for participation in horseback riding for individuals with a variety of needs.  Riding instructors do not provide habilitation or rehabilitation.  If seeking therapy for yourself or your family member, be sure to seek out a licensed therapist who has completed continuing education in the use of medical quality equine movement in treatment.

What is therapeutic play and how does it help?

Play is a natural occupation of children, click here for more information on play based therapy. 

What will be my role as the caregiver/parent during therapy?

We believe that you are the expert on your child and that children benefit from services the most when they are conducted in a manner that integrates caregivers and the family!   We ask that caregivers be present for all sessions and participate by giving feedback on daily routines, joint planning and problem solving solutions and engaging hands on in activities during therapy.  When services integrate equine movement, we do ask that an able bodied caregiver be available to participate in the session by sidewalking to increase carryover to home and allow for consistency with your child.   If you have concerns with your ability to participate, please contact us to discuss your unique needs. 

What will I need for my first session?

All clients will participate in an initial evaluation to determine if therapy is recommended and establish an individualized treatment plan of care.  Prior to your first scheduled appt you will need a prescription from your medical doctor stating "Occupational Therapy evaluate and Treat".  The prescription must include any relevant diagnosis codes and can be faxed to (855)952-5846.   If desired, you may request for us to send your doctor a prescription request on your behalf.     You will need to complete intake forms and upload them to your fusion patient portal, email to jeannibonine@heightenedpotential.com or bring a hard copy to your first appointment.   We will also need a copy of your insurance card/s front and back and a copy of the insurance holder's drivers license to check benefits prior to your first session. 

Can my other children be present during therapy?

We believe siblings and the family are an important part of therapy.  Depending on the situation, we welcome siblings to participate during play and home sessions.  However sometimes in the equine environment or in individual play therapy sessions it can be preferred to focus on your child's individual needs.  Please check with your therapist on the ability to integrate siblings into your chid's individualized therapy plan. 

What is the cost of therapy?

Heightened Potential Co. is a registered TEIS vendor and is in network with most major insurance carriers.  We are happy to complete a complimentary benefits verification to assess coverage of occupational therapy services through your individual plan.  Private pay is also available, contact for rates.   Please note that individual policy deductibles and co-pays will apply.