(Riding for Individual Developmental Enhancement)
In our continuing effort to provide you and your child with the most comprehensive pediatric services
available, Cornerstone Pediatric Center, LLC has further developed our traditional hippotherapy program into
an even more complete experience. We call it the R.I.D.E. program. Cornerstone’s hippotherapy program has
proven to be an extremely efficient and effective treatment strategy. It provides our therapists with another
unique technique used to influence and observe measurable results in all of the kids that we work with on a
weekly basis. This treatment strategy has proven to be so effective when combined with our multifaceted SI
(Sensory Integration) strategies in the clinic, that we have developed our own specific and individualized
treatment protocol around it. Cornerstone’s R.I.D.E. program was developed by our co-founder
Kathy Citerone OTR/L. The R.I.D.E. program is tailored exclusively for your child and expands on the
traditional techniques of hippotherapy. Every aspect of Cornerstone’s R.I.D.E. program is meticulously designed
and implemented beginning with the horses we choose for the program and continuing throughout your child’s
Cornerstone Pediatric Center is the only facility in WV with therapists who are certified in and consistently
practice hippotherapy. Our therapists use their specialized knowledge in sensory processing in conjunction with
their training in hippotherapy as a hugely successful treatment strategy when working with children who have special
needs. Our therapists and our families see amazing results everyday from the sensory stimulation and emotional
connections created from the interaction with the horses.
What is Hippotherapy?
Hippotherapy is a neuro-physiologically based treatment strategy that uses a horse to provide variable, rhythmic,
and repetitive movement to achieve functional gains. The sensory stimulation and emotional connections created help
to promote language, attention, and motivation in every child. A foundation is established to improve neurological
function and sensory processing, which can be carried over into a wide range of daily activities.
Hippotherapy focuses on the movement of the horse to influence an adaptive response in the child. Cornerstone
Pediatric Center's occupational therapists use hippotherapy as a treatment strategy that utilizes a horses' movement
as part of multifaceted program to achieve functional outcomes resulting in measurable gains.
Our therapists and
families have seen amazing results using this innovative treatment technique. Hippotherapy offers a unique opportunity
for our therapists and families to discover and develop the emotional connections that are created between the child
and the horse as well as developing the neurological connections in the brain. For most of our kids, hippotherapy
truly is the key to unlocking their hidden potential.
Occupational Therapists Role in Hippotherapy
Our occupational therapists are able to combine the effects of the horses' movement with other standard
intervention strategies for working on fine motor control, sensory integration, feeding and language skills,
and functional daily living skills to help facilitate progress that cannot be recreated in a clinic setting.
Hippotherapy is not the same thing as therapeutic riding. Hippotherapy is a therapist facilitating
treatment by using the horse’s movements to achieve a specific goal whereas therapeutic riding teaches
riding techniques. Hippotherapy can only be performed by a board certified therapist who has completed
post graduate training in hippotherapy and subsequently completed certification requirements. All of
Cornerstone Pediatric Center’s occupational therapists are formally trained and certified in hippotherapy.
Every child who is interested in hippotherapy may not be eligible to participate. All children must go
through an initial OT evaluation to collect baseline data. It is up to the professional discretion of
our therapists to determine if a child is eligible for participation in the hippotherapy program.
Cornerstone Pediatric Center tries to be as accommodating as possible to all families who are interested in
the program but we only have a limited number of time slots available. We are in the process of expanding
the hippotherapy program and will continue to expand the program as much as necessary to keep up with family
interest. The hippotherapy program normally begins in April and concludes in December. This is truly an
amazing program and we look forward to as many children being able to participate as possible.
Cornerstone Pediatric Center, LLC utilizes Mountain Meadows Equestrian Center for all
Mountain Meadows is a beautifully landscaped facility located in Boothsville, WV approximately 15 minutes away
from Cornerstone Pediatric Center’s office. For more information about Mountain Meadows Equestrian Center you
can go to their website at www.mteer.com.
Cornerstone Pediatric Center, LLC is a proud member of the American Hippotherapy Association.