What Is Equine Assisted Psychotherapy?
Equine-assisted therapy involves including horses in treatment. The horses themselves play a huge part of the therapy. People engage in activities such as stroking, grooming, feeding, mucking out, and leading ponies while they are under the supervision of a mental health practitioner.
Horses weigh anywhere from 120kg to 900kg, interacting with these huge beasts can be intimidating but their gentle nature will soon put people at ease. The horse will react to the clients’ behaviour and emotions in a completely non-judgemental and unbiased way.
Horses are vigilant to movement and emotion, they make the best therapy animals because they act as a ‘mirror’, they don’t get embarrassed, they don’t worry about what you will think about them they will just respond to your behaviour as a clear reflection because they have no preconceived ideas about how you feel.
The benefits of equine-facilitated therapy are:
- Becoming more emotionally aware.
- Improved social skills
- Improved confidence and assertiveness
- Developing or maintaining relationships and empathy
- Easing anxiety
The goal of the therapy is to help our clients transfer the skills that our fully trained staff and ponies will help develop and use these skills to make an improvement to their lives.
Therapy is suitable for children aged eight and above and can be used to help individuals, groups and even families.
Equine therapy has been proven to reduce blood pressure and heart rate and calm physical symptoms of stress.