What Is Equine Therapy?
Equine therapy is a uniquely powerful therapeutic experience. Influenced by the 12 Steps, this treatment revolutionizes the way that participants relate to themselves and others. By interacting with and caring for the program horses, participants learn to process emotions effectively, develop a strong sense of responsibility, and practice key interpersonal skills.
Over the course of our equine therapy program, participants regularly handle, feed, and groom the horses. Through horsemanship and equine education sessions, they also experience the joys of riding. Partner and team exercises build bonds of trust between participants, while experiential activities focus on wellness.
What Are The Benefits of Equine Therapy?
Equine therapy teaches a wide range of practical and emotional skills, which can be applied to other therapies and real-life situations. Drawing on evidence-based treatments like Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and communal exercises used in group therapy, equine therapy is a remarkably holistic program.
It can be difficult to rely on others when you’re recovering from addiction or other negative behaviors, but trust is the key to healing and empowerment. Equine therapy provides a secure context for this growth to occur.
In addition, equine therapy offers a secure, relaxed environment where you can focus on something that is completely separate from your daily life. Working with horses requires you to think outside of yourself. It will give you a sense of purpose and a more balanced perspective on life, which are invaluable assets on your recovery journey.
Here are a few more of the many benefits that equine interaction brings to our therapy program:
- Emotional Bonding: Horses are intuitive animals who recognize when their human handlers are anxious or frustrated, allowing participants to recognize emotions they may not have previously been aware of
- Positive Interaction: For those who are struggling with fallout as the result of destructive behaviors, building a relationship with a horse is a safe, non-judgmental way to connect with someone else
- Relationship Modelling: Interacting with horses requires, self-awareness and respect, which gives participants a productive model for their human relationships
- Stress Reduction: Being around horses reduces stress levels, lowers heart rate, and stimulates the regions of the brain that are damaged by addictive behaviors
Is Equine Therapy Right For Me?
Almost everyone can benefit from equine therapy—even those who’ve never spent time around horses before. It’s a truly unique treatment whose lessons last long after you’ve left CARUS Recovery. Plus, it’s an incredible way to keep your body fit and healthy.