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The Power Of ‘Equine Therapy’

There is no denying that certain animals can bring a real sense of healing for those in recovery. We have seen it ourselves with practices like Wolf Therapy, or even with dogs and cats. Well, as new research out of Canada is showing, horses appear to possess these qualities too.

Equine Therapy has now become a powerful tool within our industry, particularly for those who have a hard time opening up. There are many instances when someone enters a recovery program involuntarily and resists traditional treatment methods. Based on research within the piece, the calming nature of horses can appear to counteract that.

In an article on the CBC site, several psychologists were interviewed and expressed their support for horse healing.

Noted addiction specialist Rosanne Johnson shared some firsthand experience.

“There’s not a lot of trust from people in treatment and generally, people tend to trust horses before they’ll trust someone else,” she explained. “So they’ll be vulnerable with the horse and then maybe they might be vulnerable with me.”

Typical sessions include quiet time with the animals, hair brushing and even slow riding (after proper training has been completed). Recovery patients are usually assigned one particular horse that they can build a relationship with.

The CBC article referenced a steed named Rosie, who formed a special connection with a 25-year-old recovering meth addict named Kali Sedgemore.

“I was kind of nervous around Rosie at first,” Sedgemore told the site. “I’m just a timid person anyway, but it was kind of nerve-wracking at first. And it’s interesting because you can’t be high around a horse. If you’re high around a horse, the horse will get mad at you.”

Johnson emphasized that it takes a special kind of horse for a program like this and recovery clinics should choose their animals carefully. Rosie, she explained, was “safe and calm,” yet a bit temperamental. And that is a good thing because patients have to work to earn her trust.

The end goal of this particular program would be a ride with Rosie. Getting to that point requires focus, patience and discipline (all essential tools within the recovery process). And once they complete the final task, the sense of accomplishment can stay with them as they prepare to graduate.

The CBC also included a video segment in their article, showcasing the real Rosie and testimonials from recovery riders who have had success with the program.

We highly recommend watching it below…