Exploring the Different Types of Equine Therapy

Equine therapy is a type of experiential mental health treatment that involves a person in therapy interacting with horses. It has been used for centuries to help people with physical, emotional, and social issues, and is especially beneficial for those with cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism, and sensory integration disorder. Equine therapy can also be used to treat behavioral tics, motor control problems, balance, posture, coordination, and language development. The main techniques used in equine therapy are cognitive therapy, the practice of activities, the programming of activities, play therapy and storytelling and conversation therapy.

Depending on the nature of the anxiety and its severity, the equine therapist can make decisions about the processes or techniques applied in the sessions. In addition to therapeutic horseback riding, other forms of equine therapy include interactive jumping, therapeutic carriage driving, and horse-assisted activities (EAA), such as horse grooming, stable management, shows, parades and demonstrations. Equine-facilitated learning (EFL) is also one of four types of equine therapy that can be used effectively for young people and adults. People interested in equine therapy should be aware of some of the dangers posed by the activity, including the size and weight of most horses.

In addition, some people experience allergic reactions to horses or their environment (barn dust or hay, for example) and should be careful when considering equine therapy. Equine therapy for the purpose of addressing mental health issues generally involves both a psychotherapist and a horse trainer. Designed for people of all ages, equine therapy has been shown to treat a wide range of mental health problems, addressing the physical and psychological issues associated with diagnosis. It can even have a positive effect on destructive relationship patterns that have developed or on behaviors that compromise health or safety.

Jeri Heifner
Jeri Heifner

Subtly charming coffee enthusiast. Lifelong tv scholar. Hardcore internet fanatic. Freelance beer ninja. Incurable web nerd.

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