HIPP Kids Therapy Teaches Kids While in the Saddle

Bismarck - HIPP Kids Therapy, a program putting a spin on traditional occupational therapy, is offering quite the ride to kids with special needs.

The therapy is getting kids up in the saddle and teaching them some important lessons.

For Zoe Wolf, HIPP Kids isn't all about horsing around.

"I like riding the horse, I like all of them," Zoe Wolf, HIPP Kids Therapy says.

In fact, Zoe is one of 18 kids who uses her love of horses as therapy.

"We use the horses as our tools and kind of our main strategy called HIPPO therapy," Brittany Schock, executive director HIPP Kids Therapy says.

The equestrian therapy uses the natural movement of the horse to help kids with special needs to work on emotional skills, core strength, and developing stronger speech.

"That overall getting that body moving and getting that sensory system kind of organized is calming for the kids and it's also just very helpful in all their activities of daily life," Schock says.

Zoe's mom knew she wanted her to learn to ride so when she found HIPP Kids, she knew it was the perfect fit.

"It was kind of a good way to get better on a horse and get some OT while we're at it," Ashley Wolf, Mom of HIPP Kids Therapy kid says.

She says she's seen Zoe get stronger and what she's gained goes beyond learning to ride.

"It's done amazing things for her it's done so much for her sensory needs," Wolf says.

Creating a special bond between a girl and her horse.

"The connection between the kids and horses is kind of unexplainable," Schock says.

"Apple Jack is my favorite. Why? Because I love having fun with apple jack!" Zoe says.

Learning together every time she jumps in the saddle.

HIPP Kids Therapy is located outside of Mandan and works with kids through occupational therapy and hippotherapy to improve cognitive, behavioral, and sensory challenges.

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