Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) uses the diverse personalities and calming effects of horses as a means of helping clients work through their own emotional challenges. There is no riding involved in EAL and no prior horse knowledge is required.
How EAL can help
Providing insight for observation and growth.
EAL is used as a complement to traditional mental health therapy by using a client’s interpretation of a horse’s movements, behaviors or reactions as a metaphor to identify and change negative patterns of thinking that lead to emotional difficulties.
Fostering a healthy relationship.
Horses offer clients the experience of a pure and nonjudgmental relationship. Clients are able to connect with another living and emotionally intuitive being without risk of rejection or criticism.
Many patients with mental health difficulties have experiences of trauma or painful relationships, which makes it difficult for them to open up to a therapist and express their feelings. EAL can serve as a first step in helping individuals break through these barriers and become more comfortable and productive in treatment.
While anyone who has experienced Equine Assisted Learning, (EAL) will tell you that the experience can be life-changing and powerful, research is needed to explore the ways in which this type of intervention is beneficial for adults and children with emotional struggles.
THS has a rigorous research program that is aimed at using solid research methodologies to investigate the ways in which this form of treatment can be beneficial.
“I was actually looking for a place to do equine assisted therapy when I found THS. It’s a great compliment to regular talk therapy session. I find working with the horses very calming and I am able to be especially present in equine sessions.”
– Equine Assisted Learning Client
Articles about the benefits of Equine therapy:
Equine assisted psychotherapy healing therapy or just hype
Exploring Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) Using the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) Model