Equine Assisted Therapy
Equine therapy is a treatment that includes activities with horses and an equine environment in order to promote physical, occupational, and emotional growth in persons suffering from ADD, Anxiety, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Dementia, Depression, Developmental Delay, Genetic Syndromes (such as Down Syndrome), traumatic brain injuries, behavioral issues, abuse issues, and many other mental health problems.
Equine Therapy can help the individual build confidence, self- efficiency, communication, trust, perspective, social skills, impulse control, and learn boundaries. Since the horses have similar behaviors with humans, such as social and responsive behaviors, it is easy for the patients to create a connection with the horse. Riders with disabilities demonstrate their remarkable accomplishments in national and international sport riding competitions. Equine-Assisted Therapies have been recognized in the medical and mental health field by most major countries.
Equine therapy dates back to the times when horses were used for therapeutic riding in ancient Greek literature. Orbasis of ancient Lydia documented the therapeutic value of riding in 600 B.C. In 1946, Equine Therapy was introduced in Scandinavia after an outbreak of poliomyelitis.
Therapeutic Riding was introduced to the United States and Canada in 1960 with the formation of the Community Association of Riding of the Disabled (CARD). In the United States riding for the disabled developed as a form of recreation and as a means of motivation for education, as well as its therapeutic benefits.
Animals such as elephants, dolphins, dogs, and cats have also been used for therapeutic purposes. Horses become the most popular animal to use in animal therapy because they give immediate feedback to the handler or rider’s actions. Horses also have the ability to mirror the feelings of the handler or rider. Horses’ large and intimidating appearance forces and individual to gain trust around them.
For those interested in Equine Assisted Therapy, your therapist will consult with you to design a customized treatment plan, including the frequency and duration of your work with the horses. Treatment takes place in beautiful Pipe Creek, TX in the Hill Country. Just a 45 minuet drive from many areas of San Antonio. There are some costs that are not covered by your insurance.