What is Equine Therapy?

Updated June 26, 2023 · 1 Min Read

Explore this resource by Best Counseling Degrees to learn all about equine therapy.

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Equine therapy is a powerful method of treatment that incorporates horses in a collaborative effort to address behavioral issues and accelerate personal development.

This effective technique has been used by mental health professionals with incredible results to treat individuals as well as groups of people with specific needs.

The Purpose of Therapy

Naturally social animals, the horses prefer to be in the company of others rather than being in solitude. Like humans, they have distinct personalities, moods and feelings. They are also large in size and their image is associated with strength and power. Working alongside a horse builds confidence, alleviates fears and prepares an individual to deal with different challenges in life.

Equine method of therapy also teaches responsibility, assertiveness, good work ethics and the skill of communication. Ultimately, the sessions spent with the horses are focused on demonstrating how to build positive relationships in any life situations including home and work. The most valuable lesson is centered on understanding that the success and gratification in life comes by engaging in a continuous physical and mental effort to reach the anticipated goals.

Equine therapy is implemented for a variety of reasons and is recommended for the following:

  • Depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Behavioral issues
  • Dementia
  • Communication needs
  • Anxiety
  • Relationship problems
  • Confidence setbacks

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What to Expect

Many facilitating styles and therapeutic techniques are applied when working with horses. Numerous opportunities are created for adaptability and creativity combined with the knowledge and expertise of professionals who conduct the sessions. The highest standards of ethics and care are implemented during these sessions to ensure that the clients benefit from each practice. Each participant is given an option to employ their imagination in problem solving activities, finding solutions and risk taking lessons. Each class is carefully prepared and executed by equine specialists with enhanced emphasis on team approach.

Individual sessions consist of horseback riding and interaction with the horse during ground-based tutorials. Deliberately chosen methods allow the individuals to experiment and experience close encounters with the supreme energy and leadership horses emit. Many valuable lessons can be learned by observing the behavior of a horse and applied in human world. The goal is to display the power of non-verbal communication, honesty and awareness.

Gender-specific Programs

The women-oriented programs have been designed to help many females to manage their lives in a more effective manner. A wide range of issues is addressed including co-dependency, stress and trauma recovery as well as divorce or loss recuperation. All participating women receive psychiatric assessment coupled with social and spiritual guidance helping them with life-planning issues.

Men’s programs are focused on help with addictions, loss of confidence and issues pertaining to leadership in both personal and professional capacities. The comprehensive program involves therapy that teaches responsibility, accountability, emotional strength and communication skills. Meditation sessions and offsite meetings are typically offered within the program.

The beneficial impact of interaction with horses has been recognized for centuries. As each person is unique so are the horses. This type of treatment is based on matching two perfectly harmonized personalities that benefit from each other. Equine therapy reveals the underlying problems and helps to create solutions and cures with the compassionate involvement of dedicated researchers, enthusiastic clinicians and dedicated staff of the entire equestrian team.

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