Equine therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses horses to help people with mental or substance use disorders, cognitive problems, and other disorders. It is a type of “talk therapy” that allows clients to use multiple senses when identifying and processing emotional problems. The outdoor environment and the use of animals give a unique and positive dimension to the experience. Research has confirmed many benefits of equine therapy.
It lowers blood pressure and heart rate, relieves stress and reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression. Equine therapy also helps people struggling with addictions or mental illness. The unconditional acceptance offered by the horses they work with can help individuals develop confidence, self-efficiency, communication, perspective, social skills, impulse control, and learning from limits. In an equine therapy session, the therapist draws metaphors between the client's interaction with the horse and the patterns of their own lives.
This helps them to gain insight into their own behavior and develop new coping strategies. Equine therapy is generally a component of a comprehensive treatment plan, intended to complement conventional approaches appropriate to the specific situation. Equine-assisted therapy can also refer to other forms of therapy in which horses are used, such as occupational therapy. Instead of designing a targeted equine therapy session, the therapist may allow the client to sit on the grass with the horse.
This can help them to relax and gain a sense of calmness. Research has found that equine therapy is also beneficial for people with eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. If you have scoliosis, spina bifida, or another back-related health problem, talk to your doctor before trying equine therapy. It is recommended that you contact your insurance company and your local equine therapy center to discuss these details in advance.Equine therapy is an experiential treatment method that uses the connection between people and horses to improve physical or emotional healing.
It can help individuals struggling with mental illness or addiction to learn important life skills that a horse teaches better than a person.