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Rehabilitation Services


Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy

Equine movement is a powerful treatment tool that can be utilized by a licensed and specially trained physical therapist, occupational therapist, or speech and language pathologist. The therapists use the movement of a horse as a strategic intervention to address a variety of dysfunctions. Our Rehabilitation Services do not teach riding skills; instead the goals are functional goals to improve independence at school, the community, and in the home.

During a treatment session the movement of the horse, position of the client, and types of activities used, are constantly monitored and modified by the therapist to promote the best functional outcomes. Equine movement may be one of many treatment tools used by the therapist. This movement creates a pattern that is similar to normal walking in the patient that cannot be duplicated in traditional clinical settings. Treatment off the horse is incorporated in the on-site therapy room or the natural environment of the barn to either prepare the patient for the movement of the horse, or to address functional goals after the movement of the horse has prepared the patient’s body.

Benefits of Equine Movement

Research has shown that equine movement can help improve:

  • Core Trunk Strength
  • Postural Control
  • Joint Mobility
  • Communication
  • Balance
  • Muscle Tone
  • Sensory Integration
  • Coordination
  • Cognitive Skills
  • Endurance

Medical Conditions & Diagnoses

There are many medical conditions and diagnoses that can benefit from equine movement. These include:

  • Autism
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Down Syndrome
  • Developmental Delays
  • Social/Communication Delays
  • Speech/Language Disorders
  • Sensory Integration Disorders
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Genetic Disorders

Insurance & Cost

If your insurance includes physical, occupational or speech therapy you may be covered. Our Rehabilitation Services is a type of physical, occupational, and speech therapy and is billed under traditional physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language pathology diagnoses and treatment codes.

Forward Stride is a fee for service program. This means that the client is responsible for paying for each service at the time the service is performed. Clients will be given a detailed statement or “Superbill” which contains all the information needed to submit to their insurance companies for reimbursement. Forward Stride does not do direct billing.

Rehabilitation Services Evaluation $160
Rehabilitation Services Session $120

More information can be found on our FAQs About Equine Assisted Therapy.

Forward Stride Therapists

  • Sheila Stahl Butler PT, Director of Rehabilitation Services
  • Valery Sampson OT/R
  • Julie Talcott-Fuller MSOT/OTRL
  • Eve Irish COTA
  • Heidii Roberts SLP

Registration Form

To sign up for Rehabilitation Services please fill out the form below. For questions regarding this therapy, please contact our Director of Rehabilitation Services, Sheila Stahl-Butler, at (503) 217-2058, or email rehabilitation.services@forwardstride.org.