In this one day course, Postural Control and Core Stability are believed to be crucial for normal function, whether it is balance, reaching or walking (typical PT goals), upper extremity control or ADL performance (typically OT), or speech production and oral motor control.(typical areas for SLPs). Without good trunk control, even attention, arousal or interaction with the immediate surroundings is made more difficult. Listed amongst the many benefits of Hippotherapy is the ability to influence Postural Control and Core Strength. After all, the horse directly impacts the pelvis and spine when we sit on his back. His movement brings sensory information proximally and causes motor responses at the pelvis and trunk.

In this course, we will explore the concept that there is an inevitable Connection between Hippotherapy and the horse’s influence on the Core. We will also look at the immediate Connection between postural control and the functional improvements we are looking for in our patients, whether we are looking at it from a PT, OT, Speech or transdisciplinary focus. This AHA one-day course is open to all therapists and therapy assistants who use Hippotherapy as a treatment strategy; intended as an advanced course following the AHA Level II curriculum. Lecture, video and discussion will guide us to explore these very key Core Concepts and Connections. The curriculum may be utilized only under conditions set forth by AHA, Inc.

Intended Audience:

PT’s, PTA’s, OT’s, COTA’s, SLP’s, SLPA’s who incorporate hippotherapy into their patients plan of care.

Course Objectives:

  • Describe the terminology related to Core Stabilization.
  • Describe the neurophysiologic basis of Core Stabilization (sensory and motor control required for Core Stability) and the basic developmental process which leads to Core Stability.
  • List some of the common conditions in which Core Stability is impaired.
  • List some common indicators of poor Postural Control and reduced Core Stability as related to impaired function.
  • Describe how human function is influenced by Core Postural Control using Dynamic Systems Theory.
  • Describe the influence of equine movement on the Core – sensory and motor.
  • Discuss how we can impact function of the Core using equine movement.
  • List five specific strategies for impacting function through the Core using Equine movement.
  • Describe why influence of the core can impact so many domains of human function.
  • Develop treatment options using Hippotherapy to improve patient function related to Core Stability.

Faculty to Contact: