Equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP) relies in great part on horses to assist the treatment of an array of mental health issues in humans. Unlike therapeutic riding which primarily addresses
physical needs, EAP does not require participants to ride. Instead, they benefit from interacting on an emotional level with our horses—sometimes simply observing; other times working closely alongside them—inevitably developing a mutually rewarding relationship.
EAP is an evolving therapeutic practice, receiving growing professional attention. Research has been determined that horses are ideally qualified to assist trauma survivors. As prey animals, horses possess many of the same needs and encounter many of the same psychological challenges as our participants. A horse is also a herd animal. Their lives often depend on their ability to make relationships work. They are large, powerful and frequently sympathetic. Unlike interaction with other humans, the communication that participants have with horses is nonverbal and nonjudgmental.
Through the relationship built between horse and human, participants begin fostering a common bond based upon mutual trust and respect. The establishment of this bond can be the first step toward emotional healing.