Equine therapy is a form of animal-assisted therapy that uses the connection between people and horses to improve physical or emotional healing. It is a component of a comprehensive treatment plan, intended to complement conventional approaches appropriate to the specific situation. Customers work with specially trained horses and learn how to care for them, rather than learning to ride a horse. Through activities such as grooming, feeding, and driving a horse, people can learn to better manage their emotions and express their feelings in a more positive way.
Research has found that equine therapy is also beneficial for people with eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. Equine therapy helps improve self-esteem and anxiety, and can even help with negative body problems. If you have scoliosis, spina bifida, or another back-related health problem, it is recommended that you talk to your doctor before trying equine therapy. Most participants in equine therapy benefit from the unconditional acceptance offered by the horses they work with.
Equine therapy has some evidence that supports its effectiveness in helping to control several conditions, and horses sense danger and respond appropriately to changes in adolescent mood. Caring for animals through equine therapy helps teach responsibility, awareness and empathy during the recovery process.