Equine therapy/ Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) brings the client, horse and therapist together in a natural environment with the aim of promoting emotional learning and development. Horses ability to read human emotion and their gentle, honest nature makes them ideal for helping people to refine their motor skills and with various mental health and emotional issues.
Equine therapy is an experiential therapeutic practice that uses horses as a way to help clients learn about themselves, heal from trauma, and grow emotionally. Clients will interact with horses in a variety of activities (such as grooming, feeding or leading through obstacles) and work with a therapist who specialises in Equine therapy to discuss and analyse their actions and feelings.
Who would benefit from Equine therapy?
In Equine therapy, the client works with the horse from the ground (no riding), so previous experience around horses is not necessary. The bond that can develop between horses and people can be very restorative and Equine therapy is used to treat everything from depression, anxiety, ADD, addiction, behavioural issues and abuse. Equine therapy can be effective for individuals who have problems verbally expressing themselves. As this therapy is set in a different location to therapy rooms it can be particularly beneficial when working with children and adolescents. Equally Equine Therapy works well with groups of adults such as community groups, families and couples. Equine therapy can also be useful for individuals who have experienced trauma or have difficulties expressing themselves, such as refugees and individuals with learning problems. This form of therapy can improve communication skills and help with relationship building within groups and communities. Being practical form of therapy which is largely around either group or individual activities, with the horse, can be particularly helpful for individuals who feel disconnected from the world around them or who need assistance with verbalising feelings.