Hippotherapy and Down Syndrome2017-04-27T16:17:55+00:00


Down Syndrome is a genetic condition in which a child is born with an extra chromosome.  Characteristics of Down Syndrome include low muscle tone and weakness in trunk and limbs, impulsive behavior, short attention span,  impaired social skills, and slower learning.

Hippotherapy is an effective tool for treating Down Syndrome because it provides sensory stimulation to the muscles and joints, improves balance, body awareness, and postural control.  It can help with cognitive, behavioral, and communication skills as the kids are taught to appropriately interact and relate to the horse. This interaction helps to develop memory,  communication, self control, and self confidence.  The bond that  develops between the kids and their horse during a  hippotherapy session is not only emotionally rewarding, but motivating and encourages greater success.

Riding backwards helps to improve balance, strength, and postural control, which is really helpful for our little ones learning to walk.


Feeling the softness of the horse and the texture of the saddle and pad help our kiddos connect with their horse.


Kids don’t realize how hard they are working while they are riding. They just think they are playing at the barn!


“After Maliah started doing hippotherapy, she finally started saying her first words and taking her first steps.”

• Maliah’s mom

“Our daughter Kaelynn is 6 years old and has been participating in hippotherapy for a year and a half. We have seen results at home and at school that we were not seeing in the traditional therapy setting. Prior to starting hippotherapy, Kaelynn could walk and run but was uncoordinated, and had no fine motor skills. Over time we noticed that running became more natural for her, her hands became stronger, and she actually wanted to color, string beads, and cut with scissors. These things were super hard for her prior to starting hippotherapy.   She is also better at following directions and concentrating to complete her tasks.  The best part is that Kaelynn doesn’t even realize she is in therapy when she is on the horse. She’s just excited that she get to go horseback riding every Wednesday! I would highly recommend Horseplay Therapy to any parent who has a child with special needs!!”

• Kaelynn’s mom

“Hippotherapy has helped Ana to have better posture and more strength in her core and hips and now she is starting to walk!”

• Ana’s mom

Individual Results May Vary