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Young child securely riding a horse with a therapist at Trio Therapy Partners.

Trio Therapy Partners is a proud member of these organizations.

Hippotherapy & Horsemanship

The American Hippotheray Association and the Professional Association for Therapeutic Horsemanship are well established organizations that provide a wealth of information, resources and evidence.  We encourage you to check them out for additional information and resources. 

Happy boy hugging a horse at Trio Therapy Partners.
American Hippotherapy Association

The American Hippotherapy Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that 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.  


Evidenced Based Practice

It is critical for occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology professionals who use hippotherapy as a treatment tool/strategy to base their treatment planning on evidence-based practice.  Evidenced-based practice is "the integration of best research evidence (when available) with clinical expertise and patient values" (Sackett, et al., 1996, p.312) (AHA website)

The evidence for incorporating equine movement into treatment strategies continues to evolve and represents a vast array of data and theories.  

Bibliography AHA approved

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AHA Position Letters for APTA, AOTA and ASHA

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Published by PATH Intl on 06/08/2019

Is your center and are your staff accurately marketing or describing the services you offer? Or might you be using incorrect and possibly fraudulent terminology? And why does it matter?

The discussion is not new; however it is ramping up in its significance. In recent months PATH Intl. staff members have been made aware of several occasions where PATH Intl. Member Centers are being drawn into legal matters over the misuse (and perceived as fraudulent) use of the term, “therapy.” The terminology summit in which PATH Intl. and EAAT industry leaders are currently participating will hopefully help clarify terminology and conflicting definitions. However, in the meantime, it is the responsibility of each and every center to take stock of its name, mission, marketing materials, etc., to make sure you are accurately representing the services you provide. 

The following information is provided to help PATH Intl. Member Centers and professionals define their services and legally protect themselves by using clear, accurate and transparent terms. 
PATH Intl. Member Centers

Does your center regularly partner with or employ physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech language pathologists who incorporate equines into their treatment plans?  Does your center offer behavioral and mental health services?  

  • If your center does offer therapy services incorporating the horse, then use of the term “therapy” is an accurate description of the offering made available to your community when linked to the treatment service provided.

  • If not, then your center should NOT present itself as offering “therapy” services. The center must be careful not to incorporate the word therapy in the center’s name, marketing materials and outreach. We must safeguard the public and your business by not misrepresenting the services provided. 

In addition, centers who provide therapy services are encouraged to “lead with the therapy” by stating what type of therapy is being offered at the center.  For example, it is encouraged to say, “We offer physical therapy incorporating hippotherapy” rather than “we offer hippotherapy.” In addition, stating “we have an onsite physical therapy practice” rather than “we have a hippotherapy program” is encouraged.  This clarification is meant to help protect both the PATH Intl. Center and the physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists and licensed mental health professionals who work at the center from legal and ethical challenges.

PATH Intl. Registered Therapists or Professionals who are registered PT/OT/SLPs 

Do you clearly, accurately and transparently describe hippotherapy as one of many treatment tools included in your therapy plans of care?  PT, OT, SLP therapy professionals who elect to include hippotherapy as a treatment tool in their therapy plans are responsible for accuracy in marketing, clinical practice, coding/billing, clinical documentation and are urged to always “lead with the therapy.” The American Hippotherapy Association (AHA Inc.) recommends that you should always lead with the professional license you are working under (e.g., occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech language pathology) in marketing materials and written documentation. Hippotherapy is just one tool professionals may choose to incorporate into treatment as part of a total plan of care.  Hippotherapy is recognized as a standard treatment tool, which can be utilized while working within your scope of practice according to AOTA, APTA and ASHA. 


(View Letters from APTA, AOTA, & ASHA here.)

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