What is Equine Therapy
Equine Therapy (also referred to as Horse Therapy, Equine-Assisted Therapy, and Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy) is a form of experiential therapy that involves interactions between patients and horses.
Understanding Equine Therapy
Equine therapy has been successfully integrated into treatment programs for adults and teens who are being treated for but not limited to:
- Substance abuse
- Behavior disorders
- Mood disorders
- Eating disorders
- Learning differences (ADD/ADHD included)
- Autism, Asperger’s
The goal of equine therapy is to help the patient develop needed skills and attributes, such as accountability, responsibility, self-confidence, problem-solving skills, and self-control.
Equine therapy also provides an innovative milieu in which the therapist and the patient can identify and address a range of emotional and behavioral challenges
The movement of the horse as a person is riding at a simple walk gives them balance, coordination and self-confidence. The movement and unique walking gait of a horse or pony most closely resembles that of a human.
Therefore, when a person is riding a horse, the rhythm and motion is therapeutic; the body gains strength through its adjustment to the horse’s gait. A new study conducted in Texas supports the positive outcomes of equine therapy.
Studies have indicated that equine therapy has been successful in helping patients show marked improvements in the following areas:
- Emotional awareness
- Stress tolerance
- Impulse control
- Problem-solving skills
- Social responsibility
- Interpersonal relationships
Equine Therapy involves activities that are supervised by a mental health professional, often with the support of a horse professional such as but not limited to:
Why Horses in Therapy?
Unlike smaller therapy animals like dogs and cats, these gentle giants have a calming effect that’s magnified by their size and empathy. Horses are herd animals known for attuning themselves to human emotion, often reflecting the behaviors of those around them. For people building confidence, learning to lead around animals that loom over them can help improve self-esteem, encourage taking control, and addresses fears they feel are bigger than them.
Horse therapy can take many forms. For those who prefer staying on the ground, equine-assisted therapy includes activities such as grooming, petting, and feeding. Otherwise, programs may feature vaulting over small obstacles, trotting or riding in a horse-driven carriage
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Scientific Backing of Equine Therapy
Key Benefits of Therapy at Exult
At Exult, we have professionals who are licensed in helping you with our Equine Therapy Program. Here are some other benefits:
- Group therapy
- Individual therapy
- Access to on-site psychiatrist
- Providers work together
- Tailored program for your loved one
- Afternoon hours
- Yoga and Mindulness
We do take multiple insurances such as United, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, and Medicare but we suggest you discuss any major medical decisions with your insurance provider.
We offer medication management but we try to keep an open discussion between the client, therapist, and psychiatrist as to the needs of the client.