The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : The Therapeutic Value of Horses The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : The Therapeutic Value of Horses

Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Therapeutic Value of Horses

Who Benefits from Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy?

Most of us who own horses talk about their “therapeutic” value. Being in the barn grooming, feeding, and otherwise caring for our horses reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and improves overall health. Yet, it is the companionship with our equine partners that is the foundation of our growth in relationship to these animals. Being with our horses is the “therapy.”

The power of this relationship has not been lost on medical professionals. “Equine therapy” is a popular tool to use with a variety of populations. But what is equine therapy and how is it used?

Equine Therapy Defined

According to PATH International, the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, there are many different types of “equine assisted activities.” In its broadest sense, any interaction between a person and a horse is an equine assisted activity.

Equine-Assisted Therapy has a more specific goal. It is a treatment that uses horses to reach rehabilitative goals that are bounded by a medical professional’s scope of practice. Equine-Assisted Therapy is not an activity run by local horse clubs, church groups or trainers. Instead, it is overseen by a medical professional, usually a licensed psychotherapist or physical therapist. Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy, which is used by addiction treatment facilities, veterans’ groups, and trauma centers, is always overseen by a licensed mental health professional. These types of therapies rarely involve riding the horse.

To read more on this story, click here: The Therapeutic Value of Horses

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