Who is Equine-Assisted Therapy for?
The many benefits of Equine-Assisted Therapy can be used for various individuals, and in different environments. Horses can help people who suffer from addiction, depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, phobias, OCD, eating disorders, grief, and loss. Equine-assisted therapy is often combined with more traditional forms of therapy, such as typical talk therapy, CBT, DBT, group therapy, and support groups. In contrast to traditional talk therapies, which focus primarily on verbal communication, experiential activities with horses offer clients opportunities for using their senses to learn and process emotional challenges.
Hippotherapy refers to how occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology professionals use evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning in the purposeful manipulation of equine movement to engage sensory, neuromotor, and cognitive systems to achieve functional outcomes.
Because horseback riding rhythmically moves the rider's body in a manner similar to a human gait, riders with physical disabilities often show improvement in flexibility, balance, and muscle strength.
(Taken from http://www.americanhippotherapyassociation.org/)
EQUINE ASSISTED LEARNING
Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) is not considered therapy but rather a growth and learning experience. EAL uses horses together with a mental health professional, horse professional and other professionals in activities on the ground to enhance skills such as leadership, group dynamics and/or self-awareness.
It can benefit sport teams, corporate groups as well as many varied groups and individuals seeking personal growth.
This information has been adapted from the EAGALA Fundamentals of EAGALA Model Practice Manual
EQUINE ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP), as defined by the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA), is an alternative to traditional in-office psychotherapy. EAP utilizes horses as an aid in the therapeutic process. It is not a riding program, but rather an environment where both horse and client are free to be themselves.
EAP differs from horsemanship and riding as it focuses on human skills, not horse skills. These equine activities allow the client to process thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, and patterns and often act as a metaphor for “real life.” It is a collaborative effort between a mental health professional and a horse professional working with clients and horses to address treatment goals.
The use of horses in therapy has been effective with at-risk youth, families, and a variety of clients seeking counseling. It can be experienced both as individual or group therapy. The client who is open to an experiential modality will best be served through EAP. Through it, the client will learn about themselves and others by participating in the activities with the horse.
CARRY 0N Project
for Military Veterans
(Currently under development)
The Carry On Project pairs “off the track” thoroughbred horses in need of a new life and career, with veterans who also need a new start.
With help and guidance from licensed professional counselors and psychologists, working in conjunction with a PATH registered horse specialist, we pair a horse that has suffered the trauma of the track, with a veteran who has faced the trauma of war in order to give both a new purpose.
This program is FREE to veterans and active duty military (both men and women,) especially those who have sustained PTSD, physical injuries, or have experienced combat trauma during their service to our country.