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How does Equine Therapy Work?

Because horses are prey animals and rely mostly on non-verbal communication for survival, they have become adept at understanding and reading non-verbal cues. This ability, along with their inherent response to human behavior, has helped them give individuals insight into their emotions and behaviors and show them how their non-verbal communication may be impacting or influencing others.

This self-awareness is key to growth and development. It is also instrumental in helping individuals who have experienced trauma or addictions and those just seeking to improve their teamwork, leadership, or communication skills reveal patterns of behavior in their lives they may need to change. In short, horses help individuals develop a new way of thinking by helping them learn about themselves.

Why Equine Therapy?

  • Equine therapy can be used to treat people with a range of emotional and physical challenges, such as low-functioning autism, cerebral palsy, drug addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

  • Patients and clients are able to form a lasting bond with a horse, giving the patient/client an improved sense of self-worth, confidence, and trust.

  • Equine therapy helps people with physical disabilities improve their strength, balance, and muscle control. Brushing, grooming, taking care of the horses and navigating them through obstacles require practice of fine motor skills. It involves the clients using their legs and arms to movements as intricate as using the fingers and wrists.

  • Equine Therapy provides an emotional outlet for people struggling with a range of mental and emotional challenges. Overcoming fears, improving communication skills, and identifying and coping with feelings are just a few benefits for clients.

Who Can Benefit from Equine Therapy?

For thousands of years the bond between man and animal has proven to be effective in emotional healing. Equine Therapy can benefit everyone in one way or another. It can provide persons with a range of challenges and/or disabilities a way to build strength and confidence and help those with mental illness and individuals who have suffered emotional trauma the means to cope.

  • Elderly – Being with the horses gives them a sense of purpose and responsibility. They forget about life's troubles and enjoy their time caring for, brushing, and petting the horses.

  • Military Service Members and Others who Suffer from Emotional/Behavioral Disorders (such as PTSD) – Petting and grooming horses eases aggressiveness, nervousness, stress, depression, and more.

  • People Who Struggle With Addiction – Can provide immediate feedback for feelings of uneasiness and stress, enable coping skills, opportunities to strengthen personal relationships, and trust-building.

  • Autistic Children & Adults – Interacting with the horses creates an emotional bond between horse and handler. Sensory benefits, cognitive and language skills development, emotional bonding, and more.

  • Families, Leaders, Couples and Teams - Equines natural response to human behavior provides individuals insight into their own behaviors they may need to change.

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