- Initial Evaluation
- Medical History Review: The therapist will review the client's medical history, current functional status, behaviors, and precautions / indications / contraindications for therapy. Our therapists will ask clients and their caregivers about their impairments, and goals, so come with some things in mind. Measurements of the client's current functional status will be taken; tests, called functional outcomes measures, will be performed. These things will be synthesized to get a good picture of the client's baseline level of function, and to create a plan of care.
- Establish Plan of Care: The plan of care is a general outline of the amount of therapy that may be needed, and the types of treatments that will be used to meet realistic client goals. The plan of care will be shared with the client and caregivers. The treatment listed may include hippotherapy, it may not, this is up to the discretion of the evaluating therapist. If hippotherapy is deemed appropriate the client will be introduced to a few horses from our host farm's herd to gauge the client's need for equestrian exposure before getting onto a horse.
- Follow Up Visits
- Progress Checks
This will be the client's first visit, think of this as a "getting to know you visit." The sessions are typically 60 min in duration. The goal of this visit it to establish a baseline level of function. It is unlikely that the client will get onto the horse during this session.
These visits are where the magic happens - so to speak. Follow Up Visits are 50 min in duration. During follow up visits our therapists implement the plan of care developed during the Initial Evaluation. If hippotherapy is included, clients can expect anywhere from 10-30 min on the horse. Please note, some of our clients may require some ground exposure over several visits due to fear, or to determine if client behaviors will allow for safety on the horse. The part of the session that is not spent on the horse is spent "over ground" with the therapist taking advantage of the stimulation the horse provides to the neuromotor, sensory, and musculoskeletal systems to promote improvement in day-to-day function.
These occur every 10 visits and are a good way to gauge if continued therapy is necessary. During these visits priority will be given to retesting the most important functional impairments and functional outcomes measures that were completed during the initial evaluation. These visits are important because they let us know if we have made progress, and how much as been made. Once the tests have been completed, the session will continue with the interventions the therapist deems the most necessary to continued client improvement, which may be over ground or on the horse.
These sessions are similar to initial evaluations, and are performed after a client has taken a prolonged break from therapy or if there is a new issue that crops up. Some examples may be: a client takes a break for a month to travel, or if a client undergoes a surgery that required them to withhold from therapy for a duration of time. We need to get a new baseline level of function to make sure we are providing the best possible care. Oftentimes, the clients do not get on the horses during this session.
This is the last visit the client will undergo. We will retest all of the measures taken during the initial evaluation, progress, checks, and re-evaluations. After the measures are completed the therapist will discuss the areas of continued concern, and areas of improvement and provide the client with next steps.