For some people, when they first hear of Equine Assisted Therapy, their initial response is, “Ummm, my therapist is going to be a horse?!”
And the answer is, “Not exactly…but kind of.”
In Equine Assisted Therapy, think of the horse as the deliverer of the therapy, but in the form of a free-roaming, hay-eating processing partner, not in the form of a bespectacled, notepad-scribbling smarty pants sitting across from you in an armchair.
Traditional therapy certainly has its place, and it is effective for a lot of people, to be sure. But Equine Assisted Therapy takes a decidedly different approach and can be a very useful alternative or supplement to other kinds of therapy. A horse can be a particularly good partner for a person who has endured trauma, especially military veterans, first responders and others whose careers are fraught with occupational hazards. The bond between the person and the horse promotes connection and emotional growth, often bringing about transformational self-awareness.
In this four-part blog series, the Heroes & Horses team will outline a number of the ways that horses, in particular, are ideal therapy partners.
Hat tip to Calico Junction New Beginnings Ranch, whose web site inspired some elements of this blog series.