In a typical 30-minute equine therapy session, a horse takes around 3,000 steps, providing patients with movements that cannot be replicated on traditional clinical equipment. Sitting in a forward-facing seat, the movement simulates what a normal human walking pattern should feel like. Most of the 90-minute session is composed of the client, the therapist and the horse. Each session follows the IET protocol: grounding, connecting with the horse and the underlying issues, and then establishing a connection with the conscious part of the brain.
Although the protocol is always the same, each session is unique for each individual. Most clients experience quick relief in either their first or second session. This type of therapy is short-term and focused on finding solutions. The average length of treatment is 6 to 10 sessions, although each client and treatment plan are distinct.
Many clients also choose to supplement their traditional psychotherapy with this modality. They participate in their therapy to ensure that the session is safe and that the environment is comfortable for both the therapy team and clients. Equine Integrative Therapy (EIT) was developed by Lynne Bryan Phipps, an ordained equestrian and minister, over several years. Equine therapy has been around since ancient Greek literature when horses were used for therapeutic riding.
In addition, since equine therapy is usually goal-oriented, it allows the group to work together to achieve a common goal.