Ever heard of equine therapy? The treatment method is also called horse therapy as it involves weekly interactions between patients and horses to help get through the initial stages of drug addiction. Drug addiction is a hard topic to talk about and open up for with counselors during treatment, so some patients feel that having on-verbal communication with animals like horses is much more helpful. Similar to the type of pet therapy with dogs or cats that patients in hospitals use, equine therapy incorporates outside activities with horses outside and inside a facility. Usually a therapist who specializes in the treatment method is assigned to the patient and spends time observing their behavior patterns as they interact with the horses on site. Often they will notice a shift in their emotions and composure over time when they heal with the help of the gentle mammals around them. Understanding the benefits of equine therapy can be extremely helpful if you’re looking to start holistic therapy in the near future.
Benefits Of Equine Therapy
Many benefits come with practicing consistent equine therapy as it doesn’t involve the use of traditional pain pills or anti-drug medication. Patients benefit from naturally healing their mind and body with the help of horses. Some of the best benefits that come with equine therapy include:
- It improves emotional awareness and mental clarity in patients. After a long time spent interacting with animals and zoning in on their internal thought processes, patients learn more about their mind and bodies. They often learn how to overcome previous mental blocks that brought negativity to their lives and can bypass the anxious thoughts that come to mind throughout the day. Many of these benefits of equine therapy are rooted in nature of the animals. Horses are patient, enjoy the company of humans who treat them well, are typically non-judgmental, and have no ill expectations or motives. They respond to the feeling state we show and are naturally herd animals so they have very high emotional intelligence compared to other mammals like dogs. They often are tuned into the behaviors and expressions of those around them and in turn make great companion animals for people going through drug addiction treatment. While working with horses equine therapy patients come to terms with their preconceived beliefs about their world, their mind, and form great topics of discussion and during their equine therapy.
- Equine therapy can help treat a variety of diseases. Equine therapy has been successfully integrated the programs for adults and teens who are going through abuse, addiction to drugs and alcohol and serious mental disorders. Symptoms from issues like ADHD, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, and even PTSD are shown to alleviate after a patient goes through an entire program of equine therapy. If a patient wants to sign up for the program, they need to declare what symptoms they are facing with their doctor and enroll in a local facility that provides equine therapy. Typically this treatment method is present in rural areas so be sure that you are located to one that isn’t far away.
- Equine therapy helps to improve anxiety about past traumatic events. Horses can open the door to processing hurt and negative feelings from what injured a person before. With their non-judgmental state, horses help patients especially suffering from long term PTSD to learn about where these feelings came from. If the horse exhibits helplessness or fear, they may see their emotions within the animal and understand more about what is going on in their mind. They may come to terms with the fact that their environments are always out of their control and it’s up to them to stay strong and open, just like the horses in therapy. Any type of reaction from the horse’s and the patients themselves is a great learning tool for individual therapy during treatment. Counselors can use their observations to find topics about stress and anxiety to cover to the patients who need help the most.
- Equine therapy teaches us the value of honest, hard, and consistent work. Horses require us to work to feed them well, clean their stalls, give them baths, buy food, and train them to ride during the day.. Domestic horses have to be groomed, exercised, and paid close attention to. They’re very social animals as well so building an organic relationship with them during treatment is a must for a patient who has enrolled. Similar to the real world, we all have to work hard to take care of ourselves, our families, and maintain close relationships with our friends. If we are constantly focuses on ourselves and being selfish, those aspects of our world can suffer or decline over time. Horses help patients learn to enjoy the process and stay patient when obstacles come our way. Developing a personal relationship with one is said to be one of the most extraordinary experiences someone can go through.
Equine Therapy For Life
You don’t have to live on a farm or have a personal pet horse to benefit from equine therapy. The treatment has been shown to improve the physical and mental health of patients suffering from a variety of disorders for years. The natural method is emotionally supportive, keeps people accountable to work hard, and motivates them to stay more mindful about their thoughts and the world around them. If you don’t know if equine therapy is for you, look up health treatment centers are around your region. Sometimes staying in a sober living home is more effective than commuting to one during a busy week. See what works for you because you won’t regret the improved health you experience!