Why use music therapy in therapeutic horseback riding?

Great question! We have been so honored to begin a partnership with Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center and see the benefits of music therapy co-treating with hippotherapy not only with their students, but also their horses! We never imagined our music therapy work could lead us to working with horses, and we are grateful to co-treat with this amazing team.

This winter, music therapy has been used less in the arena, and more with ground lessons. Ground lessons, opposed to riding lessons in the arena, focus on teaching students concepts about horses they may have never learned before in a typical classroom, such as grooming and the rules of barn. Students also practice how to ride a horse on Fieldstone’s mechanical horse, Hershey, shown in the video below.

If you’re a music therapist co-treating with hippotherapy, or simply a riding wanting to learn horse concepts in a musical way, keep reading for some piggyback songs to help solidify some important concepts.


Orientation day! Students from Rushwood Elementary School; Nordonia Hills City Schools ride Hershey, our mechanical horse, with a little help from instructor Jenna and Ellen, a music therapist from The Groovy Garfoose, LLC. Next week they will ride the real thing!

Posted by Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center on Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The Rules

Safety is extremely important in the barn. Learning the rules and internalizing them are essential for each student’s success.

Each therapeutic riding center may have a different set of rules, but here are the specific ones I wrote.

Two options below depending on how your students best learn.

Grooming Tools

This song was written to help students identify key concepts of caring for their horse. By learning these, they are able to properly care for their horse and have the confidence to interact with new animal and experience.