Great and Small Therapeutic Riding


Hippotherapy uses the movement of the horse and the novelty of a non-clinical environment in combination with traditional treatment principles in order to enhance outcomes. Hippotherapy may use the services of a licensed physical therapist, occupational therapist, or speech-language pathologist.

REINS Therapeutic Services provides speech-language and occupational therapy services at Great and Small. Detailed information on current classes can be found on their website. To begin the registration process, please submit the Participant Application.  Be sure to indicate your interest in hippotherapy on the application.

More on Hippotherapy

What is hippotherapy?

Hippotherapy literally means treatment with the help of a horse, from the Greek word hippos meaning horse. Here at Great and Small, we offer speech-language services using the treatment strategy of hippotherapy.

How does hippotherapy differ from therapeutic riding?

The fundamental difference between therapeutic riding and hippotherapy is that hippotherapy is a treatment strategy which is used in conjunction with traditional speech-language therapy tasks. In hippotherapy, specific riding skills are not taught. The movement and sensory input provided by caring for and riding the horse is utilized in order to accomplish traditional speech, language, and cognitive goals through fun and functional activities. Clients may choose to participate in both hippotherapy and therapeutic riding.

Why hippotherapy?

The controlled, multi-dimensional movement of the horse provides sensory input simultaneously to the vestibular, proprioceptive, tactile, visual, olfactory, and auditory systems. By carefully altering the horse’s movement, sensory input can be adjusted to create a higher or lower state of alertness and awareness in the client. This allows for optimal treatment conditions to facilitate successful communication.

Who benefits from hippotherapy?

Speech-language and occupational therapy combined with the treatment strategy of hippotherapy is an exceptional intervention for children and adults with:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder
  • Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Developmental Delay
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Social/Pragmatic difficulties
  • Receptive/ Expressive Language Disorders
  • Speech Disorders
  • Auditory Processing Disorders
  • language learning disabilities
  • stuttering
  • stroke
  • oral motor disorders
  • voice disorders
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Sensory Processing Disorder