Equine therapy is an experiential treatment method that uses the connection between people and horses to improve physical or emotional healing. Different forms of equine therapy can be used depending on the client's needs, with the focus being more on learning to care for animals than on learning to ride a horse. Equine-assisted psychotherapy is a form of therapy that incorporates horses, and is an experiential treatment in which participants partner with horses in mental health treatment. A licensed mental health therapist and an equine specialist collaborate to supervise and lead these sessions.
In equine-assisted therapy, the horse assumes the role of a large biofeedback machine, providing the client and therapist with important information for achieving goals and working towards self-improvement. Studies have shown that various types of equine therapy offer a variety of physical, educational, emotional, spiritual, social and character development benefits. There are specialized programs for veterans that incorporate elements of equine learning and horse-assisted therapy. Equine therapy has some evidence that supports its effectiveness in helping to control several conditions, such as scoliosis, spina bifida, addiction, and self-improvement.
The cost of equine assisted therapy sessions is dictated by the professional and varies depending on several variables. It is recommended that you contact your insurance company and your local equine therapy center to discuss these details in advance. Equine-assisted therapy can provide a number of therapeutic benefits to people who have physical and mental health problems. It can also be used as a form of counseling for couples and for the formation of groups and teams.
If you are considering equine therapy, it is important to speak with your doctor first to ensure it is the right choice for you.