Posts Tagged ‘EAA/T’


Terms and Definitions

November 25, 2008

I received a recent email – pointing out a terminology blunder – a real faux pas in this EAA/T industry.  We have all followed the ongoing terminology debates – most of us have tired of them.  But I must admit this complaint was well placed. 

In a press release we had mixed terms.  Basic ones, at that.

From a friend setting us straight: 

In reading the news release on the list serve about the new grants through HHRF, there is a summary of Tim’s work. (12th paragraph) In the description, it is stated that the children had 12 weeks of “therapeutic horseback riding” and then the next statement says, the study provided strong evidence that “hippotherapy”….Is there any way to proofread material to ensure that these two terms are used clearly, appropriately and not interchangeably?  TR is not hippotherapy! (I know I’m preaching to the choir, but…) I just presented at NARHA conference about the confusion (yet again) and to have a highly visible organization like HHRF get it mixed up is very frustrating.

Therapeutic Riding and Hippotherapy

Therapeutic Riding – Mounted activities including traditional riding disciplines or adaptive riding activities conducted by a NARHA certified instructor.

Hippotherapy – Physical, occupational or speech therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement. This strategy is used as part of an integrated treatment program to achieve functional outcomes.

At the NARHA conference I facilitated a research forum. One of our presenters –Karolina Przewloka, from Poland, pointed out early that her terminology was quite different from NARHA’s – that “hippotherpy” in her study refers to all forms of equine assisted activities… and so the confusion moves forward as we cross the international boundaries that HHRF strives to cover.

For now, HHRF has posted definitions on our web site that we ask applicants to use.  We truly regret the inconvenience to our international applicants who have to “re-define” their vocabulary during their application process.  We know our scientific reviewers need common-terminology ground, and we have not yet come up with a better solution.

In the mean time – thanks for reading our press releases – and thanks for your professional terminology reminders – we will make it a point to adhere to HHRF’s terminology guide in our own publications.

If you have any questions or thoughts, please email me or post comments here on the blog.

-KC Henry


HHRF Executive Director