Horse Therapy: How much does it usually cost?
on 24/09/2019

It is not surprising to find out about people asking how much it would cost for a patient to avail of equine-assisted therapy (EAT) considering that there are unique aspects and components that could make it seem more expensive compared to traditional therapy programs.

Is horse therapy expensive?

Is it expensive? It can and it also can’t be. It actually depends, especially since EAT is a broad therapy method that employs quite a wide variety of approaches and since it is not a fit-all solution, the costs may vary from any or a combination of other associated methods to address one’s therapeutic needs.

Here’s why. 

EAT is a broad program which involves different types such as hippotherapy, special needs horseback riding, equine-assisted learning (EAL), therapeutic horseback riding, and equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP).

Each type targets different therapeutic needs for a range of conditions such as physical injuries or trauma, autism, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, adults or children with special needs, and attention deficit disorder, just to name a few.

Hippotherapy usually costs around $80-$115 per session, which can be offset either partially or fully with insurance, depending on the health insurance provider. Adaptive riding therapy costs around $40 – $60 per session, which can apply to both children and adults.

However, long-term therapy programs can get a bit pricey and may not cost the same with every special needs horseback riding near me or another facility offering a different type of horse therapy program.

Rates could range from a low end of $40 for each session and could be as much as thousands of dollars for a long-term program.

Factors behind the cost

For starters, it can be expensive running a horse therapy center since horses can cost thousands of dollars. Care and upkeep for each horse can be equally costly which could go up to as much as $500 a month.

Additional costs include training and conditioning of therapy horses, which must also be maintained on a regular basis. 

What can help defray the costs?

There are several options on how horse therapy programs are keeping costs down. In fact, some centers are supported by organizations and foundations that provide funding for several therapy programs. 

Some therapy centers are funded by donations or international support funding and contributions. 

Other non-profit special needs horseback riding therapy centers offer free therapy programs to some qualified, sponsored, or pre-selected patients either due prevailing financial standing and capacity or low-income minority groups.

Health insurance companies cover some types of therapy, but not all. Depending on the health insurance provider, the costs may be fully covered but some may only be partial with the rest shouldered by the patient.