Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What services does Exceptional Equestrians provide?

We provide year-round hippotherapy, therapeutic riding, and equine-assisted learning programs for children, teens, and adults from throughout Northeast Wisconsin. Our programs promote physical health and development, communication, community integration, self esteem, and achievement of functional skills. We serve over 175 families annually with our team of experienced staff, volunteers, and therapy horses. Click here to learn more about our programs.

Is it safe?

When it comes to safety, new clients and/or their families typically have two questions—is it really possible that they or their loved ones with special needs are physically able to ride a horse, and will they be safe while they are on the horse?

We serve individuals with a wide range of abilities, including those with significant impairments. Each new client is evaluated by a trained therapist prior to beginning services, and programming is tailored to each rider.

Every session is supervised by a therapist or instructor who is certified by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH), International, the highest standard in equine assisted activities and therapies. During a riding session, the horses is handled by an individual with formal horsemanship training and experience. Our horses are carefully selected and trained by our equine specialist, and a horse only becomes part of the therapy team if they have the appropriate temperament. When riding, each rider wears a safety belt, and trained volunteers walk alongside for safety.

Is it expensive?

Our priority is to make our services affordable to all who seek them. The cost for a single hippotherapy session is $50. Therapeutic riding sessions are $200 per five-week session. We fundraise to be able to keep our fees affordable and to be able to offer scholarships on a sliding scale. We are proud of our commitment to provide services to all, regardless of ability to pay.

Tell me more about the scholarship fund.

We are committed to ensuring that no one misses the opportunity to receive therapy due to financial burden. We seek charitable support through grants, public and private donations, and fundraising events to fund scholarships.

Scholarship information is available here and at our facility. Scholarships are renewable each year at tax time by completing a new application. For more information about scholarship aid, contact us at info@exceptionalequestrians.org.

To contribute to our scholarship fund, donate online or send your donation to Exceptional Equestrians, 1130 Orlando Drive, De Pere, WI 54115. Exceptional Equestrians is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and all donations are tax deductible.

Is it covered by insurance?

Equine-assisted therapies are often excluded by insurance. However, many of our families have success with county funding and other community funding sources.

How do I/we sign up?

Complete a registration form (available on our Programs & Services page). Upon receipt of completed forms, new clients will be contacted to set up an initial in-person screening assessment.

Why is it called "hippotherapy"?

“Hippo” is the Greek word for horse. Hippotherapy literally means "therapy using a horse."

Why use horses as compared to traditional clinic-based therapy?

Hippotherapy is the only form of treatment that provides the rider with three dimensional, multisensory input. This is very powerful and creates an immediate response that impacts all systems. However, hippotherapy does not replace clinic-based therapy and the two should always be provided together. It is also important to supplement hippotherapy with clinic-based, functional tasks such as gait training, balance work, strengthening, hand use, etc. Hippotherapy provides the basis for these more traditional therapies to be more effective.

Many of the children receiving hippotherapy at EE also receive clinic-based services at our onsite clinic, Country Kids, or other facilities.

Tell me about the therapy horses.

While all horses are beautiful, it takes a very special horse to join our program. Our horses are selected and trained by our equine specialist, a professional trainer with a degree in equine science.

All equine-assisted services require the horse present with good conformation, and an athletic, fluid, working walk in order to offer the right kind of movement to the rider. In addition to the way they move, our horses are selected because they have a temperament that allows them to tolerate everything we ask of them.

Our horses are truly part of the treatment team and we take their selection and care very seriously.

Learn more about our Sponsor-a-Horse program

How can I support Exceptional Equestrians?

You can help us give children and adults with disabilities life-changing horseback therapies.

  • Help us connect with charitable businesses, organizations, and individuals
  • Make a donation
  • Volunteer

Exceptional Equestrians is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides equine-assisted therapies to individuals with special needs.

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Frequently Asked Questions