Equine assisted therapy utilizes the strong relationship between horses and humans for teaching life skills. This therapy is about learning to care for another living being. It also helps to care about yourself and communicate with people effectively. If a patient with depression and anxiety learns to care for a horse, it teaches communication, teamwork and problem solving. It also provides a natural skill set to face their fears and increase self –esteem and confidence. The person also able to learn about their relationships and personal issues. The person also tends to overcome emotional blocks and develop empathy for themselves.

Equine assisted program is a challenging, highly social and funny therapy. It is a powerful therapy and life changing technique. The bond that is formed between horses and you is a matter of transformation.

It is effective for a large number of mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, addiction and trauma. In this therapy there is an interaction between human being and horse that is a new way to connect with yourself, explore behaviours and process their emotions and relationships that are problem areas in day to day life.

Horses are gentle and majestic creatures with their sheer strength and size that can stir deeply buried emotions inside people suffering from mental issues. The patients with anxiety, depression and trauma are able to build a strong bond with the animals. They are able to learn valuable lessons of empathy, respect and communication that helps to recover fully in the process of recovery.

What is horse therapy?
The patients with mental health issues interact with horses with the trained equine therapists. With the practices such as grooming, bathing and caring for the horses, the patients can explore their own behaviours, feelings and interaction with other people.

The communication with the horses bring up behaviour and thought patterns that are related to issues that have brought the client into equine treatment. We tend to identify these patterns and personalize experiential exercises to address each patient’s individual requirements.

How does it help?
The patients gain insights into themselves, their mental health disorders and addiction. They are able to feel empathy for themselves and for other people. They can also examine new possibilities by taking risks in relationship.

After taking part in horse therapy, patients find it easier to process their emotions, speak their mind and connect with themselves. This therapy brings emotions to the clients and involve the patient in their recovery process. Other benefits are:
• Enhances willingness and empathy to be vulnerable
• Better decision making, communication and problem solving skills
• Increases self- confidence and sense of responsibility.
• Increased ability to express hopes, feelings, and desires
• Enhanced skills to share difficult emotions and experiences.

• Better understanding of community and teamwork
• Increase connection to others and self
• Enhanced respect and trust in relationships.
• Greater respect for individuality and diversity.
Hence, equine assisted therapy programs are the better coping strategies for the patients with depression and anxiety.

Author's Bio: 

Bluff Plantation offers equine therapy, also known as
Equine-Assisted Therapy (EAT), a form of treatment that
promotes healing to those suffering from addiction or
dual disorders.