Equine-Assisted Physical Therapy

This term describes the inclusion of horses in a physical therapy service. Physical therapists use the horse’s movement or various farm milieu activities to promote the patient’s ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. Physical therapy is provided by independently licensed physical therapists or supervised physical therapy assistants.

 Equine-Assisted Occupational Therapy

This term describes the inclusion of horses in an occupational therapy service. Occupational therapists use farm-based activities as well as the movement of the horse to address physical, psychological, and cognitive aspects of well-being. Occupational therapy is provided by independently licensed occupational therapists or supervised occupational therapy assistants.

Equine-Assisted Speech Therapy

This term describes the inclusion of horses in a speech, language, or hearing therapy service. Speech-language pathologists also use the movement of the horse and farm milieu activities to treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders. Speech therapy is provided by independently licensed speech-language pathologists or supervised speech-language pathology assistants.

Equine-Assisted Mental Health

A term used to describe any type of mental health service (psychology, counseling, psychotherapy, social work, etc.) that includes horses or the farm milieu. Mental health professionals use both ground-based and mounted equine interactions and the farm milieu to address issues of emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. Equine-assisted mental health services are provided by professionals who have graduated from an accredited educational institution and are allowed by law to include mental health treatment as a part of their scope of practice. These licensed professionals may choose between a variety of different approaches when providing equine-assisted mental health. Equine-assisted mental health is sometimes used synonymously with “equine-assisted psychotherapy” or “equine-facilitated psychotherapy”.