The American Hippotherapy Association (AHA), Inc. is an international organization providing education and promoting equine-assisted therapy as reliable method for improving the lives of persons with disabilities. AHA Inc. also sponsors researches for better techniques in equine-assisted therapy to eventually promote excellence in the field.
Level 1 courses offered by the American Hippotherapy Association provide hands on course information for therapists who want to incorporate equine movement in their practices. The course focuses on the non-mounted equine skills, coaching volunteers and team members, quality horse handling as well as horse selection and retirement issues. The course participants are made to work with horses by teams that individually consist of two to four members. The faculty/student ratio for this course is 1:15 which allows for effective instruction, practice and demonstration. Some of the objects of the course is the interpretation of the horse body language while identifying essential anatomical points of the horse, recognizing unsoundness in the advancing horse, recognizing the four natural gaits of the horse and demonstrating safe and correct leading methods to name a few.
The American Hippotherapy Association also accepts members and affiliates where an individual member can avail of a subscription to Hippotherapy magazine and all E-newsletters. All physical, speech and occupational therapist are encouraged to be a member of the association. Professional membership for AHA Inc. will cost more but will avail of more privileges and discounts. A lifetime membership plan in AHA Inc. will cost you 2500 US dollars but will provide you with more perks and benefits as a member.
The American Hippotherapy Association provides grants up to 1000 dollars award for any research study that provides empirical proof for the reliability of hippotherapy as a therapeutic tool to treat children and adults with disabilities. Grants are also provided by the association for studes that compute functional outcomes for hippotherapy, studies that provide theoretical basis for hippotherapy, studies that formulate useful assessment strategies for measuring treatment outcomes and studies comparing the effectiveness of hippotherapy with other treatment approaches.