Equine therapy is one of the most effective scientifically-founded and non-invasive treatment methods recognized by the medical community. It has benefited patients with the use of programmed treatments such as emotional therapy through interactive contact and horseback riding for disabled patients.
Horses have been found to immensely support the therapeutic process for numerous mental and physical conditions such as autism, depression, anxiety, stress, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and more.
The horse grooming process itself is highly therapeutic and promotes health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and improving overall health and wellness.
But why horses? In order to understand how and why horses have become such effective creatures for therapy, here are some of the most important therapeutic values of horses before asking yourself where to “look for equine therapy near me?”
So, can horseback riding for disabled patients be as effective as any equine-assisted psychotherapy method? Yes and below are the effective therapeutic values relevant for human treatment.
Horses act as emotional mirrors of humans
Horses as gifted with the ability to respond to human behavior based on feelings that are expressed towards them. For instance, horses use this strong emotional sense as a tool for survival when faced with life-threatening situations. When a horse senses danger, it acts in a way that would signal its fellow horses of the situation and prompts other horses to react similarly.
In equine-assisted therapy, horses are trained to use this same response-ability in reflecting external actions by patients and acts as a mirror to show patients- such as addicts being rehabilitated or those with manic-depression- in coping with denial of their current situation.
Horses require the development of work ethic
Caring for horses require humans to understand and practice a strict work ethic such as waking up early in the morning to feed, groom, exercise, and attend to its other needs. It helps develop the discipline in humans in carrying out their roles such as raising their family, going to work or spend time with family and loved ones to strengthen their relationship.
The same concept of work ethic is very useful in treating patients through horse-assisted therapy.
Horses help uplift the human spirit
Horses are in themselves very majestic and are simply a joy to be with. Not because they are large creatures, but horses are gentle and honest regardless of their size. One common treatment method for abused individuals is the feeling of trust, confidence, and self-respect through horse therapy.
Patients associate their trauma on the immense size of the horse which they often relate with their abusers. But when faced with the gentle and kind nature of horses, patients then begin to cope with their trauma as they continue interacting with horses to deal with the trauma.
There are a lot more reasons why horses have been found to help in the treatment of various human conditions that goes beyond horseback riding for disabled patients.