Horseback riding, which is a major component of equine therapy, can be used to help treat a wide variety of conditions such as cerebral palsy, drug addiction, anxiety, and depression. Furthermore, it can make a difference for those looking for more peace or those who would like a physical yet meditative activity. Others still are just looking for ways to connect to their intuition via working with horses.
There are all sorts of different therapies out there, and they’re all designed to help improve your life and well-being in any number of creative ways by targeting specific issues. For the vast majority of therapy-goers, the sessions are great and offer a means of combating issues, building strength, and improving their lives.
Regardless of the reason for participating, equine therapy can prove to be a powerful tool in helping heal people from whatever condition ails them. Horses and animals, in general, have a special way of connecting with us on a deep level that can make everything in life a bit better.
Equine therapy can provide a substantial number of benefits for those suffering from a wide variety of physical conditions. Horseback riding can stimulate parts of the body that do not get much exercise to begin with, such as the core and back. This can help to build strength, balance, and mobility for those participating in therapy sessions as well as help them in weight management.
Folks with reduced mobility can especially benefit from equine therapy in that it can help simulate pelvic movements. This essentially duplicates the muscle movements associated with walking. For those recovering from an injury or struggling with mobility issues, this can keep muscles and joints in working order.
Techniques used in equine therapy can also be used to treat patients with cerebral palsy. Trainers and therapists work to coordinate the horse’s movements with the patient’s balance and posture to improve coordination and overall strength. Some studies have shown that those with cerebral palsy can also benefit from an improved ability to stretch and better digestion.
Beyond just the physical benefits of equine therapy, there are all sorts of mental ones as well. Nearly everyone who has interacted with horses on a regular basis can’t help but fall for the animals for their natural ability to both calm us and build us up at the same time. The therapy has been linked to improved confidence, social skills, impulse control, emotional awareness, and empathy.
When it comes to things such as impulse control, equine therapy can make a significant difference. So much so, that many clinical social workers recommend it as a means of addressing addiction issues because of its ability to help clients learn to trust, communicate, and be patient, which are typically necessary to treat addictive behaviors. The therapy has become one of the many ways that social workers help to provide healthy outlets for addition, which also includes developing contingency plans and behavioral therapy.
Equine therapy can also be an amazing way to help relieve stress and combat feelings of depression. Simple day-to-day tasks such as grooming, feeding, and caring for horses, in general, can provide a feeling of purpose while also lowering blood pressure and offer a therapeutic rhythm to life. Horses respond to our feelings in a non-judgemental and unbiased way, which can help people going through difficult times bond and feel as though they have an emotional lifeline.
Animals are Amazing
Of course, it isn’t only horses that can help us work through many of life’s difficulties and struggles. Nearly all pets have been shown to have a profoundly positive impact on our health and well-being overall. Their companionship and absolute love can help us feel less alone in almost every situation.
Furthermore, all pets require some level of physical and mental commitment in return. For instance, dogs need exercise, horses need to be groomed, cats need to do whatever cats do. Many counselors hope to encourage healthier living and are worried about the mental and physical health of patients as both can contribute to symptoms of depression. Having a pet can greatly improve the likelihood of making a positive, healthy change in lifestyle.
Finally, working with animals can help you reach your overall dreams and make life fun. For example, working with horses can become a full-time career with enough dedication, patience, and a little bit of luck. How great would it be to spend all day every day with the animals you know and love?
Equine therapy is an incredible way to help address both physical and mental concerns and improve your overall well-being. The techniques involved in the therapy have been great for treatments related to low mobility as well as addictive behavior and depression. Many other animals can also provide emotional support and benefit us long-term.