What does a Therapy Horse do?
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Equine Assisted Therapy, when a horse and a person are part of a therapeutic session facilitated by a licensed therapist and/or an equine specialist. This type of work is performed either through Therapeutic Riding or Equine Assisted Psycotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning. One method is on the horse, the other method is working with the horse on the ground (not riding). The two different methods are for specifically different needs. Several organizations promote their own methods.
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For more detailed information on Equine Assisted Therapy please visit the following organizations:
EAGALA ~ Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association UNBRIDLED FAITH ~ Faith-Based Equine Assisted Philosophy ~ Blanchardville, WI
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy & Learning is experiential in nature. Participants learn about themselves & others by participating in activities with the horses and then process/discuss feelings, behaviors & patterns. The psychotherapy portion is applicable for persons with mental health issues and those struggling with a specific trauma or difficult life issue. The Learning portion relates to individuals or groups looking to develop personal or professional life skills.
For Therapeutic Riding clients, improved respiration, circulation, balance and body metabolism along with greater muscle strength and agility have been identified. Psychosocial benefits reported are improvements in self-esteem, self-image and interpersonal skills when utilizing this method.
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