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Hippotherapy.... That’s weird, does this therapy involve a hippopotamus?!

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

"Hippos" in Ancient Greek for horse!

... races took place on courses called hippodromes (from the Greek words "hippos," meaning horse, and "dromos," meaning course), dangerous tracks with hairpin turns at either end.

all very interesting, but we are not racing horses. The American Hippotherapy Association Inc. is a 501(c)3 Non-profit organization, which provides educational resources and continuing education courses for occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech language pathology professionals who incorporate equines, equine movement and the equine environment in treatment.  The AHA, Inc. believes that individuals in need of habilitation or rehabilitation are best served by skilled and licensed healthcare professionals. As such, AHA, Inc. is unique in that we are the only organization in the United States whose focus in on educating licensed healthcare professionals on therapy services incorporating equines.

Let’s dive a little further into speech therapy and how our team uses equine movement in treating speech & language disorders.

STAT®️ has 3 AHA certified licensed therapists working with children and adults - utilizing the horse as the therapy tool. We have all 3 modalities: Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Language Pathology.

We have 167 active clients coming to STAT®️ weekly, with approximately 50% enrolled in Hippotherapy.

This particular Blog entry will be a 3-Part Series with PART 1 talking about Speech Therapy on Horseback.

PART 1 - Speech and Language on a hippopotamus. LOL. No no... on a HORSE!

Speech Language Pathologists (SLP) are trained service providers that work to prevent,  assess and treat speech, communication and swallowing disorders. They help individuals develop skills for voice, fluency, sound production, and clarity. They also work on cognitive tasks. And if you can imagine, all of these skills can be worked in from the back of a horse!


A horse has three dimensional movement that mimics our (human's pelvis) movement when walking.

Too, with each stride of the horse, a rider receives sensory input through four of the five senses.

Equine movement also targets the neuromotor systems that support speech and language production through::

🐎 Coordination and Timing

🐎Postural Control

🐎Respiratory Support

I know! So interesting....

Speech therapy on horseback is also a LOT of fun and motivates our clients in ways you wouldn't imagine. You are sitting atop a horse (FUN) and being asked to do things that you'd normally be sitting in a chair - in a clinic (BORING).

Goals are simply attained faster through therapy with horses.... hence the name of our organization: stat (meaning immediate)

The benefits of equine movement and speech therapy are immense.

🐎Receptive and expressive language improvement

🐎Improves pragmatic skills

🐎Increase oral motor functioning

🐎Improved auditory processing disorders

🐎Improved self-esteem.

🐎Increased independence.

🐎Improved ability to comprehend and express ideas, thoughts and feelings.

🐎School readiness for young children.

🐎Enhanced vocal quality.

🐎Early language skills.

🐎Better swallowing function.

🐎Improved quality of life.

We currently have a few openings in speech Hippotherapy sessions on Wednesday mornings starting at 10 and until 1 pm. Sessions are 30 minutes in length and are $75. We currently do not take insurance but we do have access to grants and scholarships. If you are paying out of pocket, your cost is $60 (we waive the horse fee for those paying cash)

Contact us on our website at

or by email at

to find out more! ⬅️

Articles by STAT®️INC. And our STRIDES©️ (2013) program:



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