While horses may be an unusual choice for treatment, they are still a tool in useful equine assisted therapy. The benefits of this therapy are multifaceted and are applicable to real-life problems. In a typical clinic setting, a child may not be comfortable talking to or playing with a horse. On the other hand, a child who has trouble with fine motor skills or difficulty with motor planning might find it helpful to tell the therapist how to make a horse comfortable with him.
In addition to the obvious benefits of having a horse, patients can also benefit from equine psychotherapy. The horses are extremely sensitive and are keen observers, which means that they can pick up on subtle nuances in a patient's behavior. This helps therapists and patients understand each other better and work towards a common goal: healing. Because they are an essential part of the therapy, people with anxiety and other mental health issues may benefit from it.
Studies have shown that patients benefit greatly from equine assisted therapy. The horses react solely to the patient's emotions and behavior. Because horses are prey animals, they often react to a patient's emotions and behaviors sooner than humans do. The horse will mirror a patient's body language and physical movements to help the patient be more aware of himself. Through this mirroring, the patient can build confidence and self-esteem.
Because horses are prey animals, they are more likely to respond to a patient's actions and words. This means that the horse's behavior and words are not affected by the patient's appearance or past. This means that a horse can be an extremely powerful tool for therapy. When a patient is exposed to a positive experience with a horse, their self-esteem improves significantly. In many cases, this is an excellent way to help a patient heal from their condition.
Because of their sensitive nature, horses are able to learn from human behavior. Because of this, they are able to respond more quickly to a patient's needs and preferences than a human therapist would. This is a big benefit for the patient, who benefits from the therapy and the horse's ability to improve their own life. A horse's movement will help him/her become more aware of his or her environment, which will make him/her feel more confident in himself.
Despite the benefits of equine assisted therapy, the practice is not without its drawbacks. It can be dangerous for the patient. Although a trained horse will be more responsive to nonverbal communication, it can be a good idea to check with your doctor before embarking on an equine assisted therapy session. However, these are just a few of the risks of equine-assisted therapy.