If you’ve ever heard of equine-assisted learning, you’re aware of the benefits of kids spending time with horses. It’s more than just an idea; studies repeatedly find that spending time with horses has a huge positive impact on children’s development.
These studies began when children with learning disabilities were found to be highly responsive to working with horses. Since then, the practise has spread to others fields, with benefits being found for students, adults and people suffering from PTSD.
The reason is not entirely understood, but children seem to show a unique receptivity to working with horses.
We’ve compiled a list of the main benefits that people experience when doing work with horses. All of the effects are supported by experimental evidence.
Increases in Self esteem.
Greater attention spans.
Higher levels of trust.
Lower cortisol levels.
(Cortisol is the hormone in the brain linked to stress.)
Higher levels of trust.
Decreases in anger.
The amazing effect of horses has been used to make education more effective, with equine-assisted learning programs. It’s even been introduced to the world of psychology, with some practitioners looking into equine-assisted psychotherapy!
These studies confirm what most horse people knew intuitively; there’s something about horses that changes humans for the better.
Everything you need to know about Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy.
What is it?
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, or ‘EAP,’ is a form of psychological therapy that makes use of horse and the human-horse relationship as a tool for psychological therapy.
It has been used to help people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, people with self-confidence and anxiety issues, anti-social issues and other mental health issues.
How does it work?
EAP involves having clients interact with horses and developing a working relationship. For clients with specific psychological challenges, the relationship to the horse is used as a model to explore specific difficulties and help the client overcome internal challenges.
EAP is conducted in sessions, and these sessions move at a pace that best benefits the client.
How can I become a client?
EAP practitioners offer individual sessions, group sessions and workshops. Prices vary between offerings and between practitioners, but an hourly rate can be as much as $240 per hour.
Is it effective?
EAP is relatively new, but the majority of research finds that it is linked with positive outcomes for clients, especially children.
How can I become a practitioner?
The Equine Psychotherapy Institute offers two courses, each involving foundational training of 126 hours, and advanced training of 240 hours.
- For people who are already registered psychotherapists, psychologists, mental health nurses or other mental health practitioners, a course is offered which qualifies the student as an Equine Psychotherapy Practitioner.
(Become a mental health professional usually takes about 6 years; 3 in undergraduate, 1 in honours and 2 in masters)
- For people passionate about horses, but with no psychology qualifications, a course is offered which qualifies the student as an Equine Learning Practitioner, but not a therapist.
Each course involves thorough training, including the submission of papers and completion of exams.
To find out how much a private indoor arena would cost, read the article.
Who Said It?
“Things present themselves to you, and it’s how you choose to deal with them that reveals who you are”
These were the words of Cate Blanchett, the Melbourne-born actress who played an elf in The Lord Of The Rings film series and a Russian villain in Indiana Jones.
See our plasma cutter melting through steel at 25,000 degrees Celsius here.