A growing body of research suggests that equine-assisted interventions are effective in reducing symptoms of mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, and can improve overall well-being and quality of life” – (Kern-Godal et al., 2015). It requires being present in the moment, which is crucial to its success. Horses live in the present moment, and they can help humans do the same. Equine assisted support involves interacting with horses in various activities, including grooming, leading, and riding. The horse is seen as a partner in the therapeutic process, and the therapist uses the horse’s behavior and reactions to help the client gain insight into their emotions and behaviors.
People often have eye-opening moments in equine therapy when the horse mirrors their relational issues. This experience can be powerful because it allows the person to see how their relational patterns play out in real life. By working with the horse, they can learn new ways of relating to others and develop healthier boundaries.
Here’s an example of how equine therapy can help with emotional issues. Sarah has struggled with anxiety for several years and has tried various therapies without success. She decides to try equine therapy and meets with a therapist who specializes in this approach. During their first session, Sarah leads a horse around an arena. She realizes that the horse is responding to her emotions. If she’s anxious, the horse becomes anxious. If she’s calm, the horse is calm. Through this experience, Sarah learns how to regulate her emotions and be more present in the moment. She also gains insight into her anxiety and how it affects her relationships.
At Thrive Farm, we offer equine assisted support for all ages. Equine assisted support is a component in Thrive Vibes in-person coaching packages and critical component of the Peace & Abundance retreat experience at Thrive Farm.
In conclusion, equine assisted support therapy is a unique and effective approach that can help people develop healthier relationships and improve their emotional well-being. Winston Churchill once said, “Something about the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man.”