@media screen and (max-width: 640px) { #page-thumb { position: static !important; height: auto !important; } #page-thumb > img { position: static !important; } }
Back to All Events

AHA Level I Treatment Principles

  • Mane Stream 83 Old Turnpike Road Oldwick, NJ, 08858 United States (map)


This is an overview of the principles of hippotherapy, designed for therapists (PT, OT, SLP, PTA, COTA, SLPA) interested in utilizing hippotherapy in their practice. The first day emphasizes the horse and the importance of the quality of the horse’s movement. Using experiential non-mounted activities, the attendee will learn to interpret the body language of the horse, groom, tack and lead. The attendee will also learn to recognize desirable conformation, soundness, movement quality, gaits, and understand training, conditioning and humane treatment of the horse.


Building on these equine skills, the attendee will explore the dynamic system of therapist, patient, horse handler and horse as is applied in Hippotherapy. Topics include: the history and development of hippotherapy in the US, understanding the biomechanical and sensory interaction of horse/human, horse selection, safety principles, patient and horse selection, precautions and contraindications, patient evaluation, maximizing the effects of equine movement including use of school figures and movement progression, the role of the therapy team members, documentation, business aspects and current research in the effects of equine movement.

Adaptive riding instructors, horse handlers, administrators and others interested in hippotherapy treatment principles are welcome to attend, teamed with their therapist. Graduate occupational, physical and speech therapy students must be in their last semester of graduate school to be eligible to attend this course for credit.

Coordinating Faculty: Gina Taylor, MS, OTR/L, HPCS

AJ & Miss Gina.jpg

Gina is a New Jersey licensed occupational therapist as well as a Board Certified Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist. She is certified in Sensory Integration and has a strong interest in sensory-based interventions, including Sensory Diets and home programs.  She is an American Hippotherapy Association faculty member and teaches the Level I, Level II, and Sensory Connections course to other therapists using the horse to treat their clients nationally and internationally. Gina continues to expand her knowledge and the knowledge of other therapists about hippotherapy used as a treatment strategy through fieldwork student supervision, national conference presentations and her involvement with the American Hippotherapy Association, Inc. as a faculty member, past Board Member and previous Education Committee Chairperson. Gina has a private practice providing occupational therapy services as well as workshops and consultation for those interested in equine assisted activities and therapy. Gina is also a PATH Intl' Advanced Riding Instructor. 

Successful completion of the on-line “Intro to Equine Skills” test reviewing equine care and management. Completion of the course must be at least 3 weeks prior to the start of the course. AHA, Inc. staff will confirm with the host site that the test has been completed and passed. The cost of the test is $35.00. PURCHASE "INTRO TO EQUINE SKILLS"

For more information contact: 
Melanie Dominko-Richards, MS, CCC-SLP, HPCS
Coordinator of Therapy Services

Earlier Event: June 9
Orientation & Training Session
Later Event: July 22