Clinical evidence suggest that Equine assisted psychotherapy can help: depression, low self-esteem, learning disorders, anxiety, attention-deficit disorder, conduct disorder, relationship problems, body image disorders, brain injury, memory impairment, sensory deficits, eating disorders, autism, Tourette’s syndrome and post traumatic stress syndrome along with many other disorders.

Equine specialized psychotherapy is an emerging field in which horses are used as a tool for emotional growth and learning. Equine assisted therapies are a collaborative effort between a therapist and the horse. This model can most easily be explained as an “hands on” approach to counseling. This means that the par. ticipants learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with the horses then they process feelings, behaviors, observations and feedback. Equine assisted psychotherapy has the added dynamic of utilizing horses each with different personalities, attitudes, and moods as unique as those of each individual involved. Because of this, equine assisted psychotherapy produces endless experiences and situations for discussion, analysis and learning. Equine facilitated therapies are effective in individual, family and group therapy.

Therapeutic riding programs offer unique and effective growth opportunities. ESP programs can help participant’s gain new meaning, hope and happiness in their lives.

Sir Winston Churchill stated it well when he said, “there is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man” (Clara, 2001).

Proponents of ESP programs also believe that there is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man, woman and child. As hearts start to mend and learning becomes successful, people of all ages, genders, and economic backgrounds begin to rebuild their shattered lives. ESP at times can be fun, while building a sense of renewal, hope, and the connections that can heal the human spirit. Lives change for the better and good citizens emerge. The world can become a better place thanks to the healing and loving presence of a horse!

Horses mirror our own, sometimes-subconscious thoughts by reacting to body language, tone of voice and overall presence.

RS Surtees knew this truth. “Show me your horse and I will tell you what you are” (Clara, 2001). RS Surtees knew of the oneness that can be experienced between horse and rider when he said “there is no secret closer than what passes between a man and his horse (Clara, 2001).

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