• 732-446-0945
  • information@specialstrides.com
  • Monroe, NJ 08831


Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy

At Special Strides, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Speech-Language Pathologists incorporate hippotherapy into every every client’s plan of care.  Hippotherapy refers to how Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Speech-Language Pathology professionals use evidence based practice and clinical reasoning in the purposeful manipulation of equine movement to engage sensory, neuromotor and cognitive systems to achieve functional outcomes. In conjunction with the affordances of the equine environment and other treatment strategies, hippotherapy is part of a patient’s integrated plan of care

When equine movement is used in conjunction with neurodevelopemental therapy (NDT), sensory integration, and other treatment strategies a complete treatment plan is formulated. Physical therapists,  Occupational Therapists and Speech-Language Pathologists use the equine movement to elicit functional change in individuals with the following medical conditions:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Developmental Delay
  • Genetic Syndromes
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Sensory Integration Disorders
  • Speech-Language Disorders
  • Traumatic Brain Injury/Stroke

And with the following impairments commonly associated with these conditions:

  • Abnormal muscle tone
  • Impaired balance responses
  • Impaired coordination
  • Impaired communication
  • Impaired sensorimotor function
  • Postural asymmetry and instability
  • Impaired postural control
  • Limited mobility
  • Limbic system dysfunction related to arousal and attentional skills

Equine movement is the crucial component of equine assisted therapy. This amazing multidimensional movement, which is variable, rhythmic and repetitive, provides a dynamic base of support making it an excellent tool for increasing trunk control and strength, balance, postural control and endurance as well as weight bearing and motor planning. When an individual sits astride a horse, the horse’s walking gait imparts a movement response similar to normal human gait which has an immediate impact on their balance, coordination and timing, grading of postural responses and physiological functioning. The physical therapist can use this movement to address the motor needs of each patient and to promote functional outcomes in skill areas related to gross motor ability such as sitting, standing and walking. The occupational therapist is able to combine the effects of the movement with other standard intervention strategies for working on fine motor control, sensory integration, feeding skills, attention skills, and functional daily living skills in a progressively challenging manner. Together with the equine professional, the therapist is able to manipulate various aspects of the horse’s gait and movements, the patient’s position on the horse, the therapeutic tack and types of activities/interventions to generate effective remediation and to promote functional outcomes.

At Special Strides, a comprehensive treatment plan is developed that integrates the movement of the horse with traditional physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy treatment strategies such as NDT, PNF, motor learning, sensory integration, strengthening, ROM and functional motor control. The patient is able to engage in play and motor skill acquisition activities in our natural sensory environment. Therapeutic goals are achieved through the use of equine movement, our specially designed sensory/motor playground, trampolines, log swing, zip line and pogo swing and of course our indoor clinic.


45 minutes of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy or Speech Therapy $160