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Animals have immense healing power. Beyond the pet-owner relationship, animals are often used in therapeutic settings to help individuals navigate challenging experiences.

Equine therapy is a treatment method that uses the connection between people and horses to promote physical and emotional healing. During equine therapy, individuals engage in activities such as grooming, feeding, and leading a horse while being supervised by a mental health professional. Equine therapy aims to help people develop skills such as emotional regulation, self-confidence, and responsibility.

Who Can Benefit From Equine Therapy?

Equine therapy can benefit children, teens, adults, families, and groups. Equine therapy can also help treat the following conditions or disorders:

  • Substance use disorder
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Trauma
  • Eating disorders
  • Behavior disorders
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Dementia
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism spectrum disorder

The Benefits of Equine Therapy

Horses offer unique traits that make them a top choice for animal-assisted therapies. The following are some of the various benefits of equine therapy.

  • Non-Judgmental and Unbiased

Sometimes, individuals may have a hard time expressing thoughts and feelings openly with a therapist. However, having a horse present can offer individuals a sense of peace. Horses react to people’s behavior and emotions with no bias or judgment.

  • Feedback and Mirroring

Horses are excellent observers and are sensitive to emotions. These animals can mirror an individual’s behavior or emotions, conveying understanding and connection that makes many people feel safe. This experience also allows individuals to maintain a sense of self-awareness. They can use the horse’s behavior and interactions for feedback and opportunities to check in and process what is happening in the moment.

  • Managing Vulnerability

Opening up about emotional challenges, trauma, or past experiences can be a vulnerable experience. Horses can offer a reference point for individuals to use for processing these thoughts and emotions. If something feels too painful to speak about, it can feel easier to process using the horse as an example or to align their experience with the horse’s experiences in the moment.

Equine therapy uses horses to promote physical and emotional healing. This type of therapy can be used to treat various age groups and various disorders or conditions, including substance use disorder, mental health disorders, and trauma. There are many benefits that horses offer over other animals, including providing a non-judgmental and unbiased atmosphere. Horses also help individuals with feedback, mirroring, and managing vulnerability. At The Guest House, our 52-acre estate includes an on-site stable where our guests can participate in equine therapy. Located in Silver Springs, Florida, we are here to help you heal. Call us today at (855) 483-7800.