Medicine and Health Sciences | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Hippotherapy occurs when physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speechlanguage pathologists use the movement of a horse as a treatment strategy. Previous research has documented improvements in gross motor function such as walking, reaching, standing, balance, and trunk control following treatment that incorporates hippotherapy. However, no study to date has investigated the effect of hippotherapy on fine motor control functions such as speech. The purpose of the study was to complete a pilot investigation of the effects of hippotherapy on speech motor control in one person with traumatic brain injury. The treatment records of a 24 yearold woman with TBI who received speech therapy using hippotherapy were reviewed and the speech motor control data from ten sessions was extrapolated. Results indicated immediate improvement in speech motor control with continued improvement through session ten.