Equine therapy is a type of therapy that involves working with horses to help people process certain emotions. During each session, clients can ride or work with horses while a mental health professional guides them. Participants typically learn all aspects of horse care, including grooming, saddling, and horseback riding. While horseback riding can be part of equine therapy, the most important work happens during interactions between the client and the horse.
Exercises such as angering, guiding and grooming teach people how to approach others with respect and awareness. In equine therapy, people talk about what they see and feel. The therapist helps the person to view the horse's responses objectively. This helps them to recognize when their perceptions are accurate or wrong, as well as when they are projecting their own problems onto others.
Equine-assisted therapy has been shown to provide a number of therapeutic benefits to people who have physical and mental health problems. Studies have revealed that it offers physical, educational, emotional, spiritual, social and character development benefits. It can also be used as a form of counseling for couples and for the formation of groups and teams. The main benefit of using equine therapy with people dealing with mental illness or addiction is that it allows them to draw metaphors between their interaction with the horse and the patterns of their own lives.
The cost of equine assisted therapy sessions varies depending on several variables. Instead of designing a targeted equine therapy session, some professionals allow the client to sit on the grass with the horse. Today, equine-assisted therapy is being used for addiction and self-improvement. People who have had difficulty progressing or achieving their treatment goals have made significant progress with the help of equine therapy.