What is Hippotherapy?

The term hippotherapy consists of "hippos = horse" and "therapy = therapy" in ancient Greek.

Hippotherapy can be defined as "horse assisted therapy" and can be used to define a mixed treatment program carried out to achieve functional results.

Hippotherapy applications are carried out by authorized hippotherapists who have completed their relevant training. In accordance with our vision of conducting the practices in an evidence-based scientific framework, the practices in our center are the functional results of the physiotherapists, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and neurologists, in horse trainers accompany, with hippotherapy certification. It refers to a therapy approach involving the horse that is performed to increase the sensory, neuromotor, and cognitive systems' functional results.

Thanks to this method, individuals with physical, cognitive, emotional, and psychosocial problems and people with learning difficulties and behavioral disorders are treated.

Riding skills are not taught in hippotherapy practices. Instead, therapy programs that support the health and learning processes of patients are implemented.


Target Group

All physical, cognitive, emotional and psychosocial disorders that occur due to acquired and neurodevelopmental reasons and do not contain any special contraindications for hippotherapy applications are among the targets of hippotherapy applications to support medical treatment and rehabilitation applications.

Some Examples in the Scope of Target Audience;

Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Specific Learning Disorder, Language and Speech Disorders, Balance and Movement Disorders, Neuropsychological Disorders, Post Traumatic Disorders, Some Rheumatological Disorders, Affective Disorders, Addiction



There is evidence that horses are thought to be a strong, mysterious and magical animal for centuries. Horses have been used to treat medical conditions since the 5th century BC. Evidence of the use of a horse as a healing factor was found in the cave paintings. Paleontologists suggested that the horse paintings in PechMerle Cave in France symbolize the belief that the man has magical powers to repel evil spirits and protect against disease and danger. B.C. In 460-370 Hippocrates wrote about "natural exercise" and horse riding as a form of it. . The therapy of equestrian therapy is mentioned in the book "The Art of Gymnastics" by the Italian Hieronymus Mercurialis (Geronimo Mercuriali), published in 1569. In 1670, Sydenham said, "There is no better treatment for body and soul in the saddle than a few hours a week." he wrote. In 1780, Joseph Clément Tissot (1747-1826) in France provides information on the useful indications of horse riding in his book "Medical and Surgical Gymnastics". In 1870, Brown wrote the first systematic, yet subjective review of the effects of riding a disabled patient. Modern Hippotherapy was first introduced in Germany and Switzerland in the 1940s. In the 1950s, British therapists discovered that riding was a method of therapy that could be applied to all types of disabled people. One of the most important events in the evolution of hippotherapy is Liz Hartel, who has a disability from poliomyelitis, when she won the Olympic silver medal in 1952. The inconvenience caused Hartel to become paralyzed from the waist. However, he regained strength with his drive and won in the equestrian competition in 1952.

At a riding event in the Helsinki Olympic games, "Jubilee" in his horse won a silver medal. Hartel's success inspired the establishment of hippotherapy centers across Europe in the 1960s. Since 1952, Hippotherapy centers started to open in Europe. Hippotherapy centers became widespread in Europe, Canada and America in the 1960s. In the same period, Germany, Australia and Switzerland followed their developments and created their own models. With the support of the Royal Family in 1969, especially II. "Riding for the Disabled Association - United Kingdom - RDA (British Disabled Equestrian Association)" established in the UK for World War veterans, "North American Riding for the Handicapped Association - NARHA (North American Disabled Equestrian Association)" in America 1993 and the American Hippotherapy Association - AHA (American Hippotherapy Association) was established to standardize and improve the training in the hippotherapy and therapeutic riding program. In 1980, “Federation of Riding for the Disabled International - FRDI” was established. Thus, Hippotherapy has started to spread to many countries of the world.

Certificate programs and trainings on hippotherapy started to be organized. Therapists followed new developments in skip therapy and signed new methods and studies. Today, there are more than 600 equestrian treatment centers in the USA alone. In the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK, hippotherapy is under the patronage of royal families. Today, hippotherapy is used in many diseases, and because of the use of the horse as a treatment tool by physicians, hippotherapy has been accepted as an " Assistant Therapy" form in medicine.


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