Why are Horses Good for Therapy?

Ever heard of an equine therapy? If you are a person who is in need of a companion and an activity to unwind, equine therapy might just do the job. Many people are probably not aware of the therapeutic powers of equines, such as a horse, but many studies already have solid evidence of the strong effects of bonding with them. In this article, we are going to look into the positive effects of horses to us, physically, mentally, and emotionally. But first, let us dig deeper and understand the definition of equine therapy.

What is Equine Therapy?

Equine therapy, also known as equine-assisted therapy (EAT), is a therapeutic activity performed by humans to improve physical and mental health. This type of activity heavily relies on equines, such as horse, to achieve the goal of promoting good health. Various medical professionals practice equine therapy to help cure patients in different types of health conditions.

Records show that equine therapy could be dated back to ancient Greeks. Although there is no exact record in history when this practice originated, there are accounts showing that the writings of Hippocrates show a definitive information about the benefits of horseback riding. Today, medical experts continue to advocate this type of therapy to promote human physical and mental health.

What are the benefits of equine therapy?

Now that we already have an idea of what equine therapy is, let us now look into the benefits it gives to our body.

  • It helps in overcoming fears. When undergoing equine therapy, one of the most important things to do is to overcome your fears. Being stuck in your comfort zone may contribute to a person’s mental struggle; performing equine therapy should help in building confidence and overcoming fear. People who are not confident enough is able to ride and handle a horse properly. That is why overcoming your fears is one thing a person could easily develop when with a horse.
  • It builds trust. If there is one thing you should remember about horses, it should be trust. Apparent from their appearance, horses are incredibly gentle creatures. They are not fond of manipulative styles, and would much appreciate a person’s sincerity. Just being close with a horse could have strong healing powers and helps in developing trust. This factor is important when interacting with horses, since it could be quite difficult to gain their trusts.
  • It teaches responsibility and patience. Taking care of a horse is not an easy task. A person must have long patience to handle a horse properly. It also builds a sense of responsibility since horses are also living creatures, which require constant care; this includes feeding, bathing, grooming, training, and socializing with them. All of these practices are required to make sure your horse is in good shape, which helps in developing trust. Taking care of a horse might be a good solution to help those who are in need of improving their patience.
  • It improves communication skills. When we say communication skills, it does not necessarily mean talking to a horse. It is obvious that horses don’t speak, but they give signs and interact with humans through their behavior and movement. Understanding how a horse behaves could significantly help in learning human behavior. Experts use this type of therapy for people who have addiction and mental health issues. It is an excellent way to build confidence and learn how to interact with people, especially for those who are having problems getting close to others.

It helps in understanding one’s feelings. Depression is one of the most common enemy of equine therapy. Many people fight depression, wherein they use drugs to manipulate their emotions. As we all know, this practice is not a proper way of battling stress, and it could lead to addiction, which causes various health problems. A person struggling with addiction and other mental health issues would find it more difficult to cope with the feelings of others. Equine therapy is known to fix this kind of problem. It helps these people further understand their feelings. Since horses are gentle creatures, they are a great help in teaching humans how to feel and react in a situation. At the same time, horses are also sensers of emotions and knows how to interact with a person’s feelings.