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Hippotherapy at TRRC

TRRC has partnered with Children Matter- Therapy 4 Kids to provide hippotherapy services to children. Children Matter- Therapy 4 Kids, LLC is a private practice that believes in children and the difference they make in the world. We also believe that, together, we can make an endless difference in the lives of our children. We want to enrich the lives of families and children in our community through this practice and in our small way change our little corner of the world together.

What is it? 

Hippotherapy, derived from the Greek word "hippos" meaning horse, is a therapeutic approach that involves using horses as a tool for rehabilitation and therapy. It is a goal-oriented treatment strategy that is conducted by licensed therapists who have received specialized training in hippotherapy techniques.

How does it work?

During a hippotherapy session, the client interacts with the horse while engaging in various activities that are tailored to their specific needs and goals. The rhythmic and repetitive movements of the horse stimulate the client's muscles, joints, and sensory systems, promoting improved balance, coordination, strength, and overall physical well-being.

Physical Development

The movement of the horse helps to improve muscle tone, posture, and coordination. It can be particularly beneficial for individuals with conditions such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, or spinal cord injuries.

Emotional and Psychological Well-being

Interacting with horses can have a calming and soothing effect, reducing stress and anxiety. It can also boost self-confidence, improve social skills, and enhance overall emotional well-being.

Cognitive Enhancement

Hippotherapy can stimulate cognitive processes such as attention, problem-solving, and memory. It can be especially helpful for individuals with developmental delays, learning disabilities, or neurological conditions.

Sensory Integration

The sensory input provided by the horse's movement can help individuals with sensory processing disorders to better integrate and regulate sensory information.

Our Horses

Our horses and ponies at TRRC are chosen for hippotherapy because of their extensive training in our therapeutic riding program and their calm and quiet temperament.  Due their experiences with people of all ages, they are great at providing feedback about their human partner’s feelings and behavior.

Our Expansive Environment

Our therapeutic settings include a bucolic horse farm with trails, flower and vegetable gardens, a therapy suite, a historic bank barn, outdoor, indoor and heated indoor riding areas.

April R. Odendahl, OT/L


After 26 years of providing occupational therapy services for other organizations and companies, I am thrilled to announce that I am now offering my services in a private practice, focusing on serving children and families. My name is April, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the children and families in my community. I am dedicated to building a long-lasting relationship with your family and helping your child reach their highest potential.

In addition to my experience in occupational therapy, I am also a former licensed hairdresser. This unique background allows me to create an individualized haircut experience for children with sensory aversions. I understand the challenges that sensory sensitivities can present, and I am committed to providing a comfortable and sensory-friendly environment for your child.

​I firmly believe that a strong partnership between parents and therapists is crucial in helping children achieve greatness. I value open communication and collaboration with parents, as I believe it is the key to success in therapy. Together, we can work towards unlocking your child's full potential.

I received my B.A. in Occupational Therapy in 1997 from "Towson State," now known as Towson University. Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of working in various settings with a wide range of diagnoses and age groups. I have worked at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in the Specialized Transition Program and Limb Lengthening Rehab with Dr. Dror Paley and Dr. John Herzenberg. I have also worked at Kernan Hospital in the Traumatic Brain Injury Unit on a per diem basis. Additionally, I have experience in Calvert Memorial Hospital, specifically in the Orthopedics and Psychiatric Units, also on a per diem basis.

For 23 years, I worked in the Anne Arundel County Public School System, where I gained valuable experience in working with children of all abilities. I have also provided therapy at Maryland Therapeutic Riding and Unbridled Rehabilitation Services on a per diem basis, incorporating hippotherapy into my practice. Furthermore, I have experience in Pediasuit Therapy on a per diem basis.

In addition to my professional background, I am a retired hairdresser, and I am passionate about providing sensory-friendly haircuts for children. I understand the unique needs and challenges that sensory sensitivities can present during haircuts, and I am dedicated to creating a positive and comfortable experience for your child.

I am excited to embark on this new chapter in my career, and I look forward to working with you and your family. Together, we can make a difference in your child's life.


Contact us

For more information please email or call 410.489.5100

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