Equine-assisted therapies are programs in which professionals guide clients through activities with horses. These programs have different objectives, and can be used as part of mental health treatment, physical or occupational therapy, and even as a form of counseling for couples and groups. Equine-assisted psychotherapy, also known as equestrian therapy or horse therapy, is a type of experiential mental health treatment in which a person in therapy interacts with horses. Most participants in equine therapy benefit from the unconditional acceptance offered by the horses they work with.
Research has found that equine therapy is also beneficial for people with eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. In addition, equine therapy can be used to treat physical problems such as behavioral tics, motor control problems, balance, posture and coordination, especially in children and adolescents with cerebral palsy. Equine therapy can provide a number of therapeutic benefits to people who have physical and mental health problems. People seeking help usually work with both a psychotherapist specializing in equine therapy and with a horse trainer who is familiar with its therapeutic application.
The cost of equine assisted therapy sessions is dictated by the professional and varies depending on several variables. There are some specialized programs for veterans that incorporate elements of equine learning and horse-assisted therapy.Some residential treatment centers offer equine therapy programs; other courses are arranged between a person and their psychotherapist. If you're considering equine therapy and are enrolled in a plan, talk to your insurance provider about coverage. 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.