Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Janet Jedlicka




Hippotherapy is an occupational, physical, and speech therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement. Hippotherapy is utilized as part of an integrated treatment program to achieve functional outcomes. In hippo therapy, the client engages in activities that are enjoyable and challenging while the therapist modifies the horse's movement and grades sensory input to improve neurological function and sensory processing (American Hippotherapy Association, 2003).

The purpose of this scholarly project was to create a hippotherapy protocol for occupational therapists interested in developing a hippotherapy program. It was the intent that this hippotherapy protocol be utilized with individuals of all ages who would benefit from hippotherapy treatment. The authors completed an extensive review of literature on hippotherapy treatment for individuals of various ages and diagnoses. Based on the literatUre review, a hippotherapy protocol specific to occupational therapists was created based on the Person-Environment-Occupation Model.

The hippotherapy protocol contains information on the following areas: facility and equipment, horses, personnel, clients, treatment programming, legalities, and budget and billing. There are also sections containing contact information and references as well as initial client profile forms and HIP AA Release forms. The goal of this proposed occupational therapy protocol is to provide occupational therapists with a beneficial tool when developing a hippo therapy program.