Therapeutic Riding is "Riding lessons for individuals with disabilities". A traditional Therapeutic Tiding program requires all of its participants to have a diagnosis of a disability.
Hippotherapy is "Therapy that is performed on a moving horse by a licensed medical professional, such as a PT, OT, SLP, or Psychologist"
A Therapeutic Riding lesson must be taught by a PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor. Therapeutic Riding is NOT therapy, yet there are many therapeutic benefits gained by riding. A PATH Certified Instructor is a riding teacher for people with special needs, not a therapist.
Hippotherapy is NOT a riding lesson, and little to no riding instructions or lessons in horsemanship can be expected. A Hippotherapy session is like your physical therapist taking your PT session out of the gym and onto the back of a horse, like holding an upright posture, improving leg strength and flexibility, increasing core strength. An Occupational Therapist would take a project from their office onto the horse, like fine-motor planning, sequencing movements or ideas, increasing proprioceptive awareness.
Many of these physical and learning benefits are routinely achieved in a Therapeutic Riding lesson, but it is only considered "therapy" if it is performed by a licensed medical professional.
How Horse Time is Different Than Traditional Therapeutic Riding Programs:
Lori Conner believes that everyone is eligible to experience a the therapeutic benefits of horses. Horse Time was created around this concept, so Lori does not require a diagnosis of a disability for eligibility to her program. However, Horse Time differs from a typical riding lesson in that it is still conducted with the same attention to safety, the student's timing and abilities, with added layers of support with horse leaders and sidewalkers.
Horse Leader: A trained volunteer who leads the horse and is responsible for guiding him until the rider learn enough to guide the horse themselves.
Sidewalker: A trained volunteer assistant who walks alongside you and your horse to help you with balance, encouragement, and is immediately there if any issues arrive).
If you want to learn at your own pace and have special one-on-one attention, then Horse Time is the right program for you.