The first step towards recovery.
Horses have been used for thousands of years to heal people. Hippocrates wrote extensively about their medicinal properties. Today, horses continue to serve as an effective form of therapy for humans.
But did you know that horses also benefit from being treated in the same way? They, too, can benefit from horse therapy.
This article will discuss the benefits of horse therapy, including how it works and benefit both humans and horses.
What is Horse Therapy?
Horse therapy has become a popular alternative to traditional medical treatments. It involves using horses to help patients with physical or mental health issues.
In some cases, this may involve riding a horse around a pasture. But there are many other ways to use horses in therapy. For example, they may be used for therapeutic massage, walking, swimming, or even petting.
How does Horse Therapy Work?
There are several theories on why horse therapy works. One theory suggests that when we interact with animals, our brains release chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals can improve moods and relieve pain.
Another theory says that the touch of another person helps us relax. Horses provide this touch because they are sensitive to human emotions. This makes them good at reading body language.
When someone is stressed out, they often look away from others. When a patient looks into the eyes of a horse, they feel more comfortable. This causes the brain to release endorphins that make the patient feel better.
A third theory suggests that horses can detect emotional distress in humans. When someone is sad, anxious, or angry, their body releases stress hormones. The horse picks up these signals and responds by becoming calm.
Why Does Horse Therapy Work?
Because horses are so attuned to human emotion, they can pick up on the feelings of those who come into contact with them.
They’re able to sense when someone is happy or sad, excited or afraid, and they respond accordingly.
This allows them to comfort people and reduce anxiety.
It’s important to note that not all horses are good at detecting emotions. Some are very insensitive to human feelings. Others don’t like to be touched. Still, others prefer to avoid people altogether.
If you’re looking for a horse that will work well with your clients, consider asking friends and family if they have any recommendations. You might nd one that already knows how to read body language.
Who Benefits From Horse Therapy?
People who suffer from depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, and phobias can benefit from horse therapy. There are many different types of therapies available. So it’s best to talk to your doctor before choosing a specific treatment plan.
However, most therapists recommend starting with horse therapy. It’s less expensive than other forms of treatment, and it doesn’t require much time or effort. Plus, it’s easy to learn how to do.
Many people also choose horse therapy as an alternative to medication. If you’re trying to quit smoking, for instance, you could try taking a ride on a horse instead of buying cigarettes.
The same goes for people who want to lose weight. Riding a horse can burn calories while helping you enjoy yourself.
Horses are also great for children. They can teach kids about responsibility, patience, and empathy.
What Are the Downsides of Horse Therapy?
There are two main downsides to using horses in therapy. First, it takes a lot of space. To accommodate a large number of patients, therapists must build special facilities.
Second, it requires a certain amount of skill. Because horses are unpredictable, it isn’t easy to know what kind of response they’ll give. Therefore, it’s essential to train your horse first.
This means learning how to communicate with them. It also means understanding their instincts. For example, some horses may bite when they’re nervous.
You should never force a horse to perform tricks. Instead, allow them to act naturally. Then, reward them appropriately.
How Much Does Horse Therapy Cost?
Most horse therapy programs cost between $50-$100 per session. However, this price varies depending on the type of program offered.
Some clinics offer group sessions where several patients meet together. These programs usually last longer than individual sessions. Others charge more money for private sessions. The price depends on the size of the facility and whether or not there are additional services provided.
In addition to the cost of therapy, you’ll need to pay for food, transportation, and lodging.
Is Horse Therapy Safe?
Yes! Horses are gentle animals. They won’t hurt anyone.
Even though horses are wild, they’re incredibly docile. Most horses won’t even kick or bite unless they feel threatened.
Most people who take riding lessons learn how to control their horses safely. And because horses don’t understand human emotions, they can’t be aggressive towards humans.
That said, it’s still possible for someone to get injured during horse therapy. This is especially true if you’re working with untrained horses.
Therefore, it’s essential to check out a clinic’s credentials before signing up. Also, make sure you ask questions about safety procedures.
Are There Any Insurance Coverage Issues?
Unfortunately, insurance companies often deny coverage for horse therapy. Some providers have been able to work around this problem by offering discounts for those without insurance.
However, if you live in an area with a high concentration of horse owners, you might nd it easier to get covered.
Can You Do Horse Therapy Yourself?
Of course! Many people consider horse therapy to be relaxing and fun. And since you can practice at home, you can start whenever you like. But keep in mind that you’ll need to provide your equipment.
You’ll also need to purchase feed and hay.
The other downside is that you’ll need to spend time training your horse. If you want to do horse therapy as a hobby, this isn’t much of a concern. But if you plan to use your horse as a therapeutic tool, you’ll need to devote a significant amount of time to his care.
Horse therapy is becoming increasingly popular. As a result, many clinics are opening across the country. However, there aren’t any national standards for equine-assisted psychotherapy. So you’ll have to decide which one best suits your needs.
Also, remember that most clinics require you to sign a contract. This permits them to share information about your progress.
As long as you disclose all of this information, you shouldn’t have any problems.