Equine Therapy is a form of healing that is growing in popularity for its numerous benefits. In equine therapy, the participants cooperate with horses which helps them to not only improve their relationship with themselves, but also with other people that they interact with.
During equine therapy, the participant is educated on the horses’ physical, mental, and emotional dispositions. As time progresses, the administrator is able to assist the participant in interrelating qualities that the horse displays to human qualities. Like humans, horses are very sensitive. Horses are able to sense the energy of those around them. This requires the individuals working with the horse to develop patience and tolerance with both themselves and the horse.
Our residents build trust with the animals by grooming them, developing relationships with them, as well as partaking in exercises that promote cognitive use of critical thinking and problem solving skills. Our residents that engage in equine therapy are able to work through their own emotional issues by caring for the animals. This process has shown to increase self-esteem, self-awareness, communication and interpersonal skills. This process also helps the participant to build trust in themselves and others, and allows them to feel a sense of purpose. The skills that are established in equine therapy between the participant and the horse can used outside of the ring and applied to real life situations. However, since horses cannot communicate verbally, our residents learn alternative positive behaviors to communicate.
Not only do individuals with addictions suffer from low self-esteem, but addiction is also a family disease. Our program enables our residents to rebuild relationships with those that were affected during their active addiction. We believe that when our residents take part in equine therapy, it allows them to initiate healthy relationships with others, rebuilds trust, and empowers them to establish new healthy behaviors for communicating.