What is Equine Therapy?
Equine therapy is defined as an experiential form of therapy that incorporates horses. There is an art and flow within the work equine-assisted therapists do with horses in order to aid the healing process within a mental health structure. Equine therapy allows for people to find healing, growth, and deep connection through the healing work horses and therapists facilitate. Horses allow us and create openings to build relationship with them, ourselves, others, and nature. Learning how to hold and practice deep and meaningful connection and relationship while working through the process of therapy with the horse can help us further deep and meaningful relationships in our day to day life. Horses help mirror and reflect the process and emotions that are happening within us and around us. Horses help us to define and see patterns that are deeply embedded in us. Horses are always held in the highest regard at Renewing Hope Ranch, they always have a choice to participate, and they are given the same respect as any being we interact in relationship with.
What are the benefits of Equine Therapy?
Equine Therapy provides so many benefits to people of all ages. People get to be in the presence of a horse while the equine therapist facilitates deep and meaningful connection and relationship between horse and client. While the equine therapist facilitates the client’s and horse’s connection the client is able to begin to unpack, build, and understand:
- Deeply held beliefs
- Familial, societal, and systemic experiences
- Self-defeating thoughts
- Relationships and attachment
- Emotional incongruities
- Awareness internally and externally
Each of the aforementioned create an opportunity for clients to process and recreate healthy patterns within the working that they can apply to everyday life.
Horses seek for congruence and authenticity, and require that each individual who participates in the therapy session show up and be congruent and authentic. Horses do not hold prejudice or judgment when working with people, and they simply work off of intuition and instinct. Horses not holding judgement provides both therapist and client an honest line of communication so that we can see deeper into the story being told and the present moment. Horses create a pathway of full and embodied awareness inside and outside of us. Horses have no preconceived expectations around what experiences people bring in, they simply want congruence and presence with the person they are with. They are highly effective at mirroring attitudes and emotions of the people they are interacting with.
How does Equine Therapy work?
Equine therapy is facilitated by both the mental health professional and the horse. Horses always has just as much a say in participating in the process as we as people do. The equine therapist helps clients build a deep and meaningful connection with the horse and the nature around them. Through the process the therapist will help the client find parallels and bring awareness to their experience through the process. The client will be able to identify ruptures from their circumstances and experiences that have lead to the reasoning and meaning they came in.
Equine therapy has been successfully integrated into treatment programs for all ages who are struggling with:
- Behavioral Issues
- Mood Disorders
- Eating Disorders
- Learning Differences
- Autism and Asperger’s
- Developmental Disabilities
Equine Therapy can be provided to individuals, couples, families and group setting who can or have struggled with and want to focus on healing around:
- Grief and Loss
- Impulse Control
- Social Interaction
- Interpersonal Relationship
- Personal Growth
- Emotional Regulation
- Emotional Tolerance
- Problem Solving