Occupational Therapy

In its simplest terms, occupational therapists help people of all ages participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Unlike other professions, occupational therapy helps people function in all of their environments (e.g., home, work, school, community) and addresses the physical, psychological, and cognitive aspects of their well-being through engagement in occupation.

At HOPE we believe in the benefits of nature to take occupational therapy to a new level and by this we use beautiful horses to help both children & adults.  The licensed therapist combines traditional treatment methods with innovative rehabilitative techniques – equine-assisted and animal-assisted therapy. When kids come to HOPE for occupational therapy, the therapist works one-on-one with them to develop skills and be successful at activities of daily living. In addition, issues related to sensory processing are addressed so that kids are able to participate in their home and school environments.

What is Hippotherapy

Hippotherapy is a physical, occupational or speech and language therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement..  Adaptive riding that emphasizes the acquisition of riding and horsemanship skills, both on and off the horse, in an effort to achieve physical, emotional and cognitive goals.

The American Hippotherapy Association (AHA) uses the term Adaptive Riding currently known as therapeutic riding.  The Professional Association for Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl) uses the term Therapeutic Riding.  These terms may be interchanged in the literature but HOPE Horses Helping People refers to Therapeutic Riding as Adaptive Riding.

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Activities and Therapies, What’s the difference?

All services fall under one of two categories “activities” and “therapies”. It is important to understand the difference between the terms.

Equine Assisted Activities (EAA)

Equine assisted activities include: adapted riding, equine facilitated learning, veteran’s programs, and vocational/barn programs.   They all involve horses and/or their environment and are typically facilitated by an instructor who has received education and training specific to the activity and to disabilities. Instructors should be proficient in not only the activity but also in utilizing adaptive equipment/tack, teaching tools, and in providing beneficial lessons. This insures that the specific strengths, needs, and goals of each participant are addressed in a safe and therapeutic manner.

Equine Assisted/Facilitated Therapies (EAT)

Equine assisted therapy is medical treatment that incorporates equine activities and/or the equine environment. Rehabilitative goals are related to the patient’s needs and the medical professional’s standards of practice.  Only a medical profession, (ie physical/occupational therapist, speech and language pathologist, psychologist, social worker, or mental health professional) licensed in the state of Florida can provide these treatments.