How Equine Therapy Can Benefit Victims of Abuse

Did you know that around 12 million Americans live with a PTSD diagnosis today? This is a shocking statistic because it provides only a limited insight into the millions of abuse survivors living in the States today.

The unique benefits of equine therapy provide the survivors of abuse with a positive and non-judgemental bond with these gentle and beautiful creatures – often opening up avenues for recovery, coping, and management.

If you’re interested in how equine therapy could benefit you or somebody you love, this article explains why this therapeutic approach deserves a second glance.

Read on for everything you need to know about horse therapy.

What Makes Horses Good Therapy Animals?

Horses are such popular animals for therapy applications since they respond readily to the gestures of their trainer or handler. They also mimic the emotions of the person riding or handling them.

As horses are large animals, many people are intimidated by them at first. However, after experiencing horse therapy for themselves, they begin to see the value of bonding with these gentle creatures.

Because we have a unique bond with horses, they are able to mirror our emotions and offer a sense of unspoken empathy. This can be extremely rewarding for an abuse survivor. 

An added bonus is that once the victim feels better in their recovery, they still have a horsey friend. The bond between horses and people is strong in both good and challenging times. 

Equine Therapy and Abuse Victims 

In the broadest sense, equine therapy is any interaction between a person and a horse with a view to a positive therapeutic outcome.

It is a rehabilitative approach that employs horses to achieve recovery aims that are covered by a medical expert. Local equestrian associations, church groups, or schools do not often offer horse therapy.

Instead, it is usually supervised by a medical practitioner. Generally, this is a qualified clinician or physical therapist. Many types of equine therapy exist.

Clinical therapists, veterans’ groups, and trauma centers all use equine-facilitated therapy. These services are monitored by a mental health practitioner. Riding the horse is uncommon in these sorts of therapies. 

Horses help people recognize and understand their emotions. A horse can both convey and relate to trauma victims. Learning how to be calm around horses is an excellent indicator that the abuse victim is growing positively.

Horses do not judge. Instead, they offer a nonjudgemental but receptive presence for those who may not feel ready to talk about their traumatic experiences.

Equine Therapy for Mental Wellbeing

Now you understand more about equine therapy and how it can help abuse victims, might this be a good option for you? Horses can help soothe you and overcome trauma when you work alongside a trained practitioner. 

Did you find this article about therapy with horses helpful? If so, check out our other posts for more health and wellbeing content

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