Level 1 Hippotherapy Treatment Principles

AHA, Inc. Approved Course

February 9th- 11th, 2019

8:30 am – 5:30 pm Saturday – Monday

Download Brochure

Registration is limited to first 15 attendees.

To register, download brochure here and email to McKenna Wood: mwood@theahainc.org

Register Online Here


Early Registration on or before Jan. 19, 2019
AHA, Inc. Member- $850.00
Non AHA, Inc. Member- $950.00

After Jan 19, 2019
AHA, Inc. Member- $925.00
Non AHA, Inc. Member- $1,025.00

All attendees will receive a hard copy of the AHA, Inc. Level I Treatment Principles Manual. The course fee also includes breakfast and lunch. During the course you will be on and/or working directly with horses. Please have appropriate clothing/footwear. Helmets will be provided. If your weight exceeds 275lbs., you may be excused from the mounted portion of the course. Indicate any special restrictions on the registration form.

Cancellation Policy: AHA, Inc. and Quantum Leap Farm reserve the right to adjust program dates, times and faculty to accommodate unforeseen circumstances including cancellation of the course due to insufficient registration up to 3 weeks prior to the scheduled start date. Notification will only be made to advanced registrants. Neither AHA, Inc. nor Quantum Leap Farm are responsible for any expenses incurred by registrants due to such adjustments.

*If a participant wishes to cancel; cancellation notices must be provided in writing no less than 3 weeks prior to the course start date to receive a refund, minus a $115 administrative fee. No refunds will be given for cancellations received within three weeks prior to the start of the course.

Course Prerequisite: Successful completion of the online “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. Visit the AHA, Inc. website under “Curriculum Overview,” under the Education tab for a link to purchase.

*The curriculum may be utilized only under conditions set forth by AHA, Inc.

Hotel Information:

Holiday Inn Express Trinity
2125 Corporate Center Drive
(11 minutes/ 5.5 miles)

*Reserve by calling and using CODE: QLF

Price includes complimentary hot breakfast buffet and transportation to and from the hotel. The Holiday Inn Express staff has offered Airport Transportation for additional $20 per person.

Travel Information:

Quantum Leap Farm is located approximately 28 minutes (20.7 miles) from Tampa International Airport, and 38 minutes (26 miles) from St. Petersburg-Clearwater International. Transportation to and from the facility/hotel will need to be arranged by the participants. Quantum Leap Farm Coordinator and Staff are available for transportation upon request.

This course is 4 days total with 3 days of in person instruction and 8 hours of online study. It 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 working in treatment. Using experiential non-mounted activities, the attendee will learn to interpret the body language of the horse, groom, tack and lead the therapy horse, recognize desirable conformation, soundness, movement quality, gaits, and understand training, conditioning and humane treatment of the therapy 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:

  • History and development of hippotherapy in the US
  • Understanding the biomechanical and sensory interaction of horse/human
  • 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.

Karen Gardner, MOT, OTR, HPCS

Karen has a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy and is the owner of Silver Lining Therapy, LLC in Texas.   She is an AHA Faculty member, Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist (HPCS), PATH-Intl Master Instructor and Driving Instructor. She is an adjunct professor for the OTA Program at Lone Star College.

Karen is certified in Natural Lifemanship Trauma Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (TF-EAP) Therapy specialties include sensory integration, aquatics, DIR Floortime and NDT. She presents at local, state and national conferences on a variety of topics within OT, hippotherapy, adaptive riding and horse training. She utilizes a variety of natural horsemanship techniques in her horse training and therapy sessions. Karen is a past President and former Board Member of the American Hippotherapy Association, Inc.

Alexis Lopez, MOT, OTR/L
QLF Director of Operations & Hippotherapy
Cell Phone: 954-592-9192
Email: Alexis@QuantumLeapFarm.org

AHA Representative:
McKenna Wood
Member Services Coordinator
Email: MWood@theahainc.org

Hosted by:
Quantum Leap Farm, Inc.
10401 Woodstock Rd, Odessa FL 33556
Farm Office: 813-920-9250, ext. 208