Equine therapy, also known as horse therapy, is a form of experiential therapy that may include grooming, feeding, haltering and leading a horse while supervised by a mental health professional and with the support of a horse professional. The overall goal of equine therapy is to help a patient develop skills towards accountability, responsibility, self-confidence, problem-solving, self-control and more. Equine therapy has been shown to be successfully integrated in programs to treat substance abuse and addiction, behavior and mood disorders, eating disorders, learning differences, ADHD/ADD, autism and Asperger’s, trauma, grief and loss, compulsive gambling, bipolar disorder, depression, and more. If you’re considering equine therapy, take note of the following areas it may provide improvement to:
- Emotional awareness
- Stress tolerance
- Social responsibility
- Interpersonal relationship
Educators from Michigan State University note that the brain is constantly assessing its environment and adjusting; with mental illness and/or addiction, the brain’s pathways may be weakened. Equine therapy helps to strengthen neurological pathways in the brain while the person experiences balance, coordination, and self-confidence through horse riding.
If you’re afraid of horses, don’t worry. Most often you don’t have to ride a horse right away – you will likely be able to look at the horse through a fence and begin acquainting yourself with one before making contact. With equine therapy, you may set goals with your therapist, such as improving short-term memory, for example. Through this, you may work towards memorizing the steps it takes to secure the bridle and saddle on a horse. Other instances may involve learning how to build a trusting relationship by becoming more comfortable around a horse and gaining his or her trust.
One of the best ways to get treatment for an addiction or mental illness is to participate in a reputable treatment program that provides several different methods for learning. Call today to learn more about how equine therapy can be of benefit to you.
Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.