Why Use Horses for Therapy?
There are many options and many different types of animal assisted therapy. Some animals used are elephants, dolphins, dogs, and cats just to name a few. Horses are commonly the most often used for their unique attributes which they posses. The use of animals to assist in therapy may go back centuries. There is evidence that horses were used for therapeutic riding in ancient Greek literature. But animal therapy as a practice is a relatively new phenomenon.
Many people involved with equine therapy say that horses seem to have an affinity for healing effects on youth. Fun and enjoyment can come out of working with horses. Activities are very hands on and participants don't feel they are involved in a therapy session. The horses are large and often intimidating creatures, which allows participants to gain trust with the animal. The horse gives you immediate feedback about your own actions and body language through mirroring. If you are tense and nervous, the horse will mirror this feeling. You learn to act and react appropriately.
"Accomplishing a task involving the horse, in spite of those fears, creates confidence and provides for wonderful metaphors for dealing with other intimidating and challenging situations." said co founder of EAGALA