Thanks to philanthropy, our Providence Children Development Institute has been able to care for our most vulnerable population - children with special health care needs through hippotherapy.

Providence therapists and Forward Stride work together to help our pediatric patients achieve their highest potential. Our specially-trained occupational therapists apply the movement, rhythm and repetition of the horse as a treatment strategy to help patients achieve therapeutic goals and outcomes.

The dynamic movement of the horse combined with the dynamic environment leads to functional change. By applying different combinations of patterns, gaits, speed of the horse and different riding postures, our occupational therapists are able to provide precisely the sensory or neurological input each child will benefit from the most.

“Our daughter loves to trot, go on trail rides, and give Bjorn hugs. She has developed a very special and caring relationship with her occupational therapist, Valery. The physical benefits of her sessions help prevent further regression (worsening scoliosis, loss of walking, loss of hand-use, – all very real possibilities for people with Rett Syndrome) and encourage continued skill building. Her weekly sessions have made her stronger in mind and body, and we believe this is an activity she will enjoy for the rest of her life.”- Mother, Gina Mueller

For questions about how your support can impact the lives of families, please call Doug Cain at 503-537-1670 or

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