Equine-assisted therapy is a form of treatment that uses horses into the rehabilitative process for physical and mental conditions.
Horses are popularly used for this therapy since they can assist people with physical and behavioral, speech, and emotional problems, and other disabilities.
The goal is to help people acquire skills such as self-confidence, emotional regulation, and responsibility.
Researches have suggested that many people have significant benefit from regular contact with pets and animals. Many people develop unique and friendly relationships with horses as they associate with them. It is the reason why equine-assisted therapy connects horses with people for mutual benefit.
Benefits of Equine-assisted Therapy
Although people can use different animals for the therapeutic process, horses provide unique qualities that make them a top choice for equine-assisted therapies. Below are the benefits.
Horses are Unbiased and Non-Judgmental
Horses only respond to human behavior and emotions and are never biased by their physical appearance or past mistakes. Most people who undergo equine-assisted therapy describe this attribute as so crucial to emotional healing, which increases self-esteem.
Mental health benefits
Patients challenged with cerebral palsy, autism, and PTSD can find equine-assisted therapy beneficial. For instance, mental conditions such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and sleeplessness, etc., are some symptoms associated with PTSD. Since both PTSD patients and horses are usually vigilant in their environments, they can quickly learn to develop a shared sense of trust, which is useful for such patients.
Dealing with Addiction
Equine-Assisted therapy can help drug addicts get comfort from their past and present suffering involving trauma and anxiety. Also, many drug addicts faced years of negative thoughts and destructive trauma that isolated themselves with their loved ones. To heal or recover from such addictive behaviors, they must learn to develop healthy relationships. Horses have been used as the best alternative solution than human therapists when coping with addictive habits.
Other Benefits of equine-assisted therapy include increased:
- Stress tolerance
- Social awareness and relationships
- Impulse control
- Problem-solving skills
- Emotional awareness
How Does Equine-Assisted Therapy Work?
Equine-Assisted therapy involves a horse trainer and a psychotherapist to focus on mental and physical health conditions. The trainer chooses the right horses based on their capability to endure disruptions and withstand unpredictable behavior from people.
If you are a new person using equine-assisted therapy, you will have to start by interacting with a horse gradually under supervision. You will then advance and learn to control the horse with a trainer or by yourself. Also, therapists often include horse rides into practice though it is not compulsory.
Additionally, horses can understand emotional needs and expressions from humans. They are alert, patient, and can adapt to anger, anxiety, and sadness while emulating human moods in a lenient way.
During the therapy sessions, bonding with a horse eventually increases emotional healing and self-awareness.
Final Words from the Recover
If you feel you want to benefit more from professional equine-assisted therapy, some rehab treatment centers near you may have this service available. Ensure you inquire and compare the best option that can address your physical or emotional needs before enrolling.