While equine therapy is a fairly recent development in treatment for psychological issues, studies suggest that it can be very beneficial. One study in 2008, which looked at the effects of a 12-week program of Animal-Assisted Therapy on people receiving treatment for various issues such as anxiety, schizophrenia, effective disorders, and personality disorders, found that people who engage in equine therapy reported higher levels of self-esteem and coping ability.
This study used both horses and other farm animals, including cows, sheep, chickens, and rabbits. It indicates that Animal-Assisted Therapy, especially that which includes horses, when used in combination with other forms of therapy, can significantly improve a person’s self-esteem and ability to deal with difficult situations. Since substance addiction is classified as a mental health disorder, and since many people who struggle with addictions also suffer from another mental issue, this study suggests that Animal-Assisted Therapy can be useful to people undergoing addiction treatment.
Equine therapy is a great option for people looking for therapies to complement their addiction treatment. Along with traditional addiction treatment and therapy, equine therapy can give a person the confidence and skills they need to live a fulfilling life free from addiction.