View Full Version : Hippotherapy- PT & OT in New England

Jan. 20, 2010, 09:56 PM
I am an OTA/PTA student and am interested in doing an affiliation/job shadow/volunteer with a therapist who incorporates equine therapy. Can anyone recommend someone in the Vermont or New Hampshire area. Thanks, any guidance greatly appreciated.

Jan. 20, 2010, 10:02 PM
if you are in the Dover NH area, the University of New Hampshire has a Therepeutic riding center and there is also an stable in rochester NH that runs 2 Therapeutic riding classes, and I believe there may be a Therapeutic riding center in Epping NH too..

the website for the UNH program is:

Jan. 20, 2010, 10:07 PM
Thanks for the info. I am in the Claremont, NH area.

Jan. 25, 2010, 08:11 AM
There is one here in Vermont. Trails End Farm. Colchester , vermont. The womans name is Jacelynn Couture. # is 802-879-4234.

I know they are a therapeutic riding center and have hippotherapy. AFter looking over my medical files they told me some ppl don't belong on horses and I was one of them. I haven't bothered them since. On my own I am I guess.

Jan. 25, 2010, 09:31 AM
Winkin' Pony in Francestown NH, The Carriage Barn Newton NH,
Halona Stables Deerfield NH. Although none of them are really that close to you Francestown is the "closest" and Kim is great!

Jan. 25, 2010, 09:56 AM
If you were a student instructor for therapeutic riding I would have suggested a therapeutic riding center and to look for a Premiere NARHA center and/or a NARHA advanced riding instructor, however you are an PTA/OTA student so you will want to be SURE to shadow someone who is doing Hippotherapy, not therapeutic riding.

Go the the American Hippotherapy Association and look under the FIND A THERAPIST for your area. If there is an HPCS (Hippotherapy clinical specialist) near you then good observe them- when looking for a mentor or someone to observe, try to observe best practice or someone who is a specialist in their field. Make sure the person you observe has training, if you can't find an HPCS then look for a person who has attended the Level II training. It is very important that as a student you are observing someone who is trained and a professional in your field.

Jan. 25, 2010, 10:01 AM
As a therapeutic riding center telling someone after reviewing their medical paperwork that this might not be the best thing for them is something that speaks highly of the center to me. It's not easy telling someone that you don't believe this is in their best interest, but often it's the right thing to do. From a medical perspective NOT everyone is okay to ride. It's very important for people in therapeutic riding and hippotherapy to recognize this and educate the participants applying to the program why this might be the case. If the program can offer other equine activities (driving, grooming or horsemanship) great- those might be appropriate. But, not everyone should ride- TR centers should not take the risk of having someone with a contraindication ride- they need to protect themselves, the potential participant and the industry as a whole.

If you choose on your own to ride against medical advice or with a contraindication that is your choice as an adult, but if a center allows you to ride or provides services for you they are risking their whole mission! Sorry it worked out that way for your, but chances are that center did the right thing.

Jan. 25, 2010, 12:18 PM
Equest in Kennebunk Maine has a great therapuetic riding program. I think they do some student internships with a local college's PT/OT program.

Jan. 30, 2010, 02:15 PM
OP, I would contact the American Hippotherapy Association rather than NARHA. You'll find them to be VERY helpful!
Karma, this is an important topic....How to say No.

After working with a few centers I was armed with a list of what to do and what not to do. No center will ever be perfect..it's not possible! But the least we can do is to be prepared to meet the needs of our riders and to ensure their safety and make it as enjoyable as possible for them.

I wish I could say that all centers look at it this way.

I have seen my lions share of children and adults who should not be riding or interacting with a horse at all. It isn't their fault of course, but when the riders level of functioning can result in serious injury or provoke a dangerous response from a meticulously trained animal it is best to not set them up for bodily harm!

Unfortunately TR has become a buzz word and the true meaning of it has become so very skewed. We felt that the best way to work with our students requiring TR services was through Hippotherapy. We feel that the students care team should be involved in the planning and delivery of what is a therapeutic intervention, even if it is disguised as fun!