Pippa Hodge: A Driving Force Behind Therapeutic Riding in Canada

Credit: Nina Linton

We are pleased to present the winners of our third annual Readers’ Choice Awards, honouring remarkable horses and horse people for their achievements and contributions to Canada’s horse industry.

Our sincere appreciation goes our generous Readers’ Choice Awards sponsor, Bucas, who graciously donated fabulous prizes to our winners. Thank you to everyone who nominated and helped make our Readers’ Choice Awards a success again this year.

Congratulations to our deserving winners.

The 2012 Readers' Choice Awards Winners Are (please read more at each link):
Grated Coconut: Born to Buck
Duane Latimer: Canada's Reining Royalty
Pippa Hodge: A driving force behind therapeutic riding in Canada
Karen Brain: Anything is possible
Hickstead: “He was the best horse in the world”
Eve Mainwaring: "A tremendous horsewoman"
Dianne Tidball: Matriarch of Thunderbird Show Park
Somebeachsomewhere: Racehorse of the Decade
Orion: A Remarkable Therapist
Bill desBarres: "A lifetime in the service of the horse"

For almost 30 years now, Pippa Hodge has been an advocate for the benefits of horses and therapeutic riding for riders with mental and physical disabilities.

Originally from England and now living in Langley, BC, Pippa is a paediatric physiotherapist specializing in Clinical Hippotherapy and a founding member of the American Hippotherapy Association, an organization dedicated to educating and promoting excellence in the field of Equine Assisted Therapy. She is also a Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (CanTRA) certified coach and examiner, and conducts examinations and workshops for therapeutic riding instructors across Canada. Pippa is a founding member of, and instructor at, the Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association in Langley, BC, working tirelessly to promote horseback riding as a therapeutic option for riders with disabilities.

“Pippa Hodge has been a pillar of the therapeutic riding movement in Canada,” says Daphne Davey, President of CanTRA, “especially since the founding in 1980 of the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association...she is such an excellent resource for our members.”

Colleagues comment that Pippa is always exploring new ways to improve the quality of Canadian therapeutic riding programs.

“When she gives workshops she always has so many neat ideas for equipment you can use with children in therapeutic riding,” says Ann Caine, Past President and current Fundraising and Public Relations Chair for CanTRA. “Anything to do with therapeutic riding is expensive…she has creative suggestions for inexpensive alternatives, from the dollar store, or something from home that you can adapt.”

Pippa’s sense of humour and her incredible knowledge make her workshops and conference talks particularly popular.

“Conference evaluations typically contain a plea to invite Pippa back for the next conference,” Davey says. “It doesn’t matter how experienced an instructor or therapist is, they always learn from Pippa because her experience is so vast.”

“She has done so much for therapeutic riding over the years, I just think she’s amazing,” says Caine. “And she absolutely loves what she does, so she’s an inspiration to anybody who is entering the therapeutic riding world.”

Main article photo: Nina Linton - Pippa Hodge has worked tirelessly for decades to promote therapeutic riding in Canada. Her dedication, commitment, and work ethic are an inspiration to her colleagues and friends.

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