What started with a love of horses and the joy of riding has evolved into a discovery of the therapeutic value of the horse. From grooming and applying tack to sitting atop these majestic creatures, a relationship with a horse can improve one's physical, emotional, and social health.
Meet Amy Wallace OTR/L, CHT, HPCS
Amy has been an occupational therapist for 20 years, with over 10 years of focus on treating upper extremity injuries of adults and children. In 2010, she obtained credentials as a Certified Hand Therapist. In 2013 , as her passions were drawn more to working with pediatrics, along with her life-long love of animals and the outdoors, Amy began to incorporate the utilization of horses into her busy OT practice.
People often ask what makes "hippotherapy" so beneficial to children and adults with movement and sensory challenges. Simple--yet complex answer is --the multi-dimensional movements of equine and the closely manipulated quality of those movements by our horse handlers create constant, dynamic opportunities for the client atop the equine to improve their muscle strength, flexibility, sensory feedback that leads to overall improvements in function at school, home, and their communities, as well as more adaptive behavior and social skills interactions. And of course our horses get so many hugs and kisses by our clients!!
The current mission of the American Hippotherapy Association, in which Amy has been a member since 2013 and is a certified practitioner, is the clarifly what the term "hippotherapy" really means.
What it is not-- therapeutic riding, equine therapy, "horse therapy"
WHAT HIPPOTHERAPY IS--Occupational, Speech, or Physical Therapy services delivered in a strategy incorporating the use of equines. Hippotherapy involves a medical plan of care, functional short-term and long-term goals, and discharge plans--although many clients receive services for several years!
In addition to the Occupational Therapists and Speech Therapists at North Georgia Equine in Motion, our team also consists of expert horse handlers and therapy assistants, and highly-trained volunteers are also utilized to provide a positive and comfortable therapy environment for everyone.
Meet our horses
Waylon, shown to the left with one of his favorite clients, is a 10 year old paint quarter horse. Cindy is a 23 year old quarter horse and Little Joe shown below is an 8 year old quarter pony--he is our resident cutie and such a clown! Chip is another one of our Therapy Horses who is another 11 year old quarter horse. Let's not forget Happy our resident barn cat and LOVES the kids and all of the love he gets daily!