Hippotherapy utilizes equine movement as a physical, occupational or speech-language therapy treatment strategy. AHA’s role in educating and promoting excellence in the field has never been more important. This strategic plan documents our organizational commitment to being recognized as part of the international community that provides education, facilitates research and promotes Equine Assisted Therapy as an effective treatment strategy that improves the quality of life for individuals with disabilities.
AHA started in the United States in 1987 as the Hippotherapy Curriculum Committee, which included 18 physical and occupational therapists who traveled to Germany for training and education in classic hippotherapy. In 1992, AHA became a section of the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association. In November 2004, AHA became an independent entity that continues to collaborate with our colleagues in the therapeutic riding community.
AHA’s original mission of promoting hippotherapy through the professional growth of Physical, Occupational and Speech-Language Therapists interested in using the movement of the horse as a tool in treatment, lives on in our organizational focus on education and curriculum development.
In Sept the Board of Directors met for a one day strategic planning meeting in order to plan proactively for AHA’s future and ensure the growth of hippotherapy in the United States. Through the strategic planning process we have focused on our core values of integrity, accountability, accessibility, innovation, excellence and collaboration and developed clear goals and objectives to move the organization forward.
I gratefully acknowledge the commitment and involvement of the members of the Board who shared their time and expertise so generously. AHA is looking to the future to develop as an organization that serves our members, their clients and families and the medical community. This 2008 strategic plan provides a valuable framework for our future.
Deborah Silkwood-Sherer, President, American Hippotherapy Association, Inc.