Physical Therapy

Our out-patient pediatric therapy clinic offers physical therapy (PT) in a holistic, natural environment that is meaningful and motivating. We specialize in using equine movement as a treatment tool, known as “hippotherapy”. (Hippo is the Greek word for horse.) This state-of-the art therapy uses the organized movement of the horse to improve function.

The walking horse provides a dynamic base of support, making it an excellent tool for improving trunk strength, balance, postural control and stability, weight bearing, and motor planning. The movement of the horse also offers well-modulated sensory input that is used to affect arousal, attention, and body awareness. Our therapists combine the effects of equine movement with other standard intervention strategies for working on fine and gross motor control, sensory integration, balance, postural control, feeding, attention, and functional daily living skills in a progressively challenging manner.

Our therapists collaborate with families, caregivers, and other care providers to attain the best outcomes for the children we see.

Treatment that includes Hippotherapy is especially engaging and motivating for children diagnosed with:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Sensory Processing Disorder
  • Developmental Delay
  • Stroke
  • Genetic Syndromes
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

Out-Patient (OP) Clinic Fee:  $100 per session

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What the research says about Hippotherapy

28 peer-reviewed scientific studies on equine movement have found Hippotherapy to be a safe and effective treatment modality. In 1998 TROT Founder, Nancy McGibbon published one of the first scientific research studies in the country on the benefits of Hippotherapy for children with spastic cerebral palsy.

TROT is currently participating in research lead by Central Michigan University and funded in part by the Horses and Humans Research Foundation studying the “Effects of Hippotherapy on Balance and Gait in Children with Spastic Cerebral Palsy.”

Other pertinent research articles

  • Benda W, McGibbon NH, Grant KL. (2003). Improvements in muscle symmetry in children with cerebral palsy after equine-assisted therapy (hippotherapy). J Altern Complement Med. Dec;9(6):817-25
  • McGibbon NH, Andrade CK, Widener G, Cintas HL. (1998) Effect of an equine-movement therapy program on gait, energy expenditure, and motor function in children with spastic cerebral palsy: a pilot study Dev Med Child Neurol. Nov;40(11):754-62.
  • Silkwood-Sherer D, Warmbier H (2007 Effects of hippotherapy on postural stability, in persons with multiple sclerosis: a pilot study. J Neurol Phys Ther. Jun;31(2):77-84
  • Lechner HE, Feldhaus S, Gudmundsen L, Hegemann D, Michel D, Zäch GA, Knecht H., The short-term effect of hippotherapy on spasticity in patients with spinal cord injury (2003) Spinal Cord. Sep;41(9):502-5.
  • Sokolov PL, Dremova GV, Samsonova SV. (2002) Hippotherapy as a method for complex rehabilitation of patients with late residual stage of infantile cerebral palsy Zh Nevrol Psikhiatr Im S S Korsakova.;102(10):42-5.