16 Oct Equine Assisted Learning
Equine Assisted Learning is the art of using the relationship between humans and horse’s as a tool to aid successful recovery from drugs and alcohol.
The medical field has recognized Equine Assisted Learning as a successful form of therapy in treating substance abuse, ADD, anxiety, depression, traumatic brain injuries as well as other disorders. Equine Assisted Learning is a form of Equine Therapy and includes activities designed to promote the healing of physical, occupational and emotional damage without ever getting on the horse.
What does Equine Assisted Learning Accomplish?
Humans share similar behaviors with horses, such as social and responsive behaviors, and creating a connection with a horse is easy and is made with eye-to-eye contact. A horse is just as susceptible to hurt as a human. Being able to attain a similar place of vulnerability, the horse acts as a mirror through specific exercises with the herd or the individual animal, issues such as building confidence, communication, developing trust, perspective, social skills, impulse control and learning boundaries are accomplished.
How Does Equine Therapy Work?
Equine Assisted Learning is more than just grooming a horse and sometimes a client may not ever touch the horse in a session. The therapist leading the session will set goals for the client to complete which may be as simple as leading the horse to a specific area with their body language only. Using any type of a halter or a lead is discouraged, as the goal is to connect with the horse through the mind, and show them who is in charge without using an implement to control.
The patient pays close attention to how they feel during the exercises, discusses ideas and problem solving techniques and addresses any fears that have surfaced. This makes room for improving the individual’s ability to listen and follow directions. It also creates better communication between rider and horse, as well as rider and therapist. Through Equine Assisted Learning, the patient can recover his or her own confidence in the company of a wild animal.