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What is Hippotherapy?

A project by: Maria Zay


WE RAISED £2,070

from 14 donors

This project received donations on Wed 22 May 2019
How could the movement of a horse support someone with a communication difficulty?

A short summary 

 Hi I am Maria Zay, I am a Speech and Language therapy student. I am raising money so that I can complete a 5 week placement in America  at a clinic that uses an intervention called Hippotherapy and so that I can raise awareness of this therapy intervention through this campaign being shared.

My story

 I have a love for horses and a passion for helping others which is why learning about how I can combine theses two passions through Hippotherapy is an incredible opportunity! Those that know me well will appreciate how excited I am to learn about this intervention. I have worked with children and adults with varying communication difficulties. As part of these experiences I previously worked as a horse handler at a clinic that utilises Hippotherapy,(the picture on the left is a picture I took whilst exercising one of the therapy horses).  Whilst working at this clinic I learnt about Hippotherapy and its application from the perspective of Occupational therapy.

I would like to learn how Hippotherapy can be utilised in Speech and Language therapy....

You may be wondering why I need to go to America to learn about this intervention, this is because to the best of my knowledge Hippotherapy is not an intervention that is currently used in the UK...

So what did I do? I contacted the American Hippotherapy Association who gave me information about therapists using this intervention tool. I was successful in my search for a Speech and Language therapist using this intervention in America. I was accepted by a clinic in New York that utilises this intervention for a 5 week block clinical placement. I will also travel to a second location and complete a facility tour, observations and mentoring at a clinic in New Mexico, which specialises in the use of Hippotherapy in treatment.

What is Hippotherapy? My knowledge at this point is that Hippotherapy can be used by Speech and Language therapists, Occupational therapists and Physiotherapists. It is a therapy intervention that uses a horse's movement when the child is on the horse to facilitate typical therapy techniques. See below a page from a social story I created to support children understand what to expect in therapy sessions that include Hippotherapy...

As I am sharing this campaign to raise awareness of Hippotherapy and so that I can learn more about this intervention, I have included the following YouTube video. I hope this will provide further insight into how Hippotherapy can be used from a speech and Language therapy perspective...  

Where will the money go?

Travel; Return flights to New York from the UK (£369) and Return flights to New mexico from new york (£300). 

Accommodation; 5 weeks at an estimate of £40 per night = £1,400

Food; based on £40 per week provides an estimate cost of £200

If the minimum amount of £2,069 is reached this will be used to fund my flight costs and accommodation as seen above.  If the full amount of £ 2,269 is raised then this money will be used as listed above.

If I was to exceed my target I would use the money to pay for other costs such as,  a hire car, VISA and accommodation costs whilst in America that have not been factored into the estimate above... for example if accommodation costs are more than my estimate during the placement period. In addition, I will be spending some time in America before the placement begins and after it is completed if I exceeded my maximum I would use the money to pay towards these accommodation costs also. 


There are some great rewards available, check them out they include but are not limited to;

  • An invite to a presentation once I return about what I have learnt about Hippotherapy
  • A set of personalised communication pictures or a choice board for a child with communication difficulties...

To see the other rewards available,  please click through to the sponsor page.

Help us succeed!

Every click helps raise awareness of this therapy intervention. You don't have to donate to be able to support this campaign. You can do your bit by sharing this page with people you know on your social media, via email or in conversation. However If you are able to donate, your donation will be very much appreciated! Your donation doesn't have to be a grand gesture even a £1 can make a difference to the success of this project... I would like to say a massive thank you in advance for however you are able to support this project to succeed.