I have not posted a blog in so long! We were very involved in making our First Annual Really N.E.A.T. Benefit Concert a success, and I really let sharing information with you all slide! My apologies. Today I want to take a look at one of the most asked questions we face – How does Equine Therapy Work?’
There is so much new information and so many wonderful programs all over the country who are doing incredible work in the field of equine therapy. From more traditional ‘therapeutic riding’ programs to programs like ours, where the focus is on social, emotional and behavioral health interventions, it can be confusing to people. ‘Isn’t it just horseback riding?’ No, it really isn’t.
In a traditional therapeutic riding program, the team may be focusing on increasing physical abilities – balance, flexibility, mobility, or on things, like increasing and improving speech – the movement of the horse actually stimulates speech centers in the brain! Our program focuses on a different set of issues and challenges. From ADHD to depression, anxiety, healing from trauma as well as a myriad of other social, emotional and behavioral health issues, work with horses can be so powerful. As Jane Davis points out in her Hudson Valley article, “Everything you learn with a horse can be taken into your relationships.”
There are so many aspects of the work that can make a difference, but we always focus on our clients specific needs and goal. ADHD – we focus on helping the client learn to stay on task and decreasing impulsive behaviors. Since horses are prey animals unexpected and loud situations can worry them.
When we are working with a client who is healing from trauma, we may focus on building trust, setting safe personal boundaries, increasing confidence and decreasing anxiety/PTSD.
We work one on one with each client on their specific issues. We work with kids as young as four, teens adults and seniors. We are a Fee For Service Medicaid Provider for Psycho Social Rehabilitation (PSR), a Behavioral Health intervention, accept private pay clients and, through a partnership with the For Kids Foundation, offer a scholarship program. If you or someone you know are struggling give us a call or send us an email. We will be happy to schedule a time for you to visit the ranch. We will show you around, introduce our wonderful herd, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help. We are here for you.