Equine therapy is an experiential treatment method that uses the connection between people and horses to improve physical or emotional healing. Clients work with specially trained horses and learn to care for them, rather than focusing on learning to ride horses. Exercises such as angering, guiding and grooming teach people how to approach others with respect and awareness. In some sessions, a client may not even touch the horse, but instead complete tasks such as taking the horse to a designated area or putting a halter on it.
This helps them improve their language skills, listening skills, and ability to follow instructions. Horses also sense danger and respond appropriately to changes in adolescent mood, which can be beneficial for those struggling with anxiety. Equine therapy is generally a component of a comprehensive treatment plan, intended to complement conventional approaches appropriate to the specific situation. Research has found that equine therapy is also beneficial for people with eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.
Caring for animals through equine therapy helps teach responsibility, awareness and empathy during the recovery process. Most Equine Therapy participants benefit from the unconditional acceptance offered by the horses they work with.