gestalt coaching Denver

We are the ultimate answer to your equestrian therapy questions in the Denver area! If you would like to learn more about Horse Therapy For Veterans then continue reading! Horses help with many different problems that we may face on a daily basis! There is even Ptsd Treatment With Horses!

equine therapy and autism

Therapeutic Benefits of Horseback Riding

Horses look for presence in the moment and clarity about where you are going and how. They create an especially valuable mirror to humans-masterful as we are about thinking one way and feeling or behaving another. You can't lead a horse if you're not fully present or unclear about where you are going. You may be able to fool yourself, but you can't fool a horse.

Horse-guided coaching is experiential learning in which people see their energy and behavior reflected by horses, gain clarity about their leadership presence, style and effectiveness with others. Through horse-human exercises on the ground, participants discover new information about themselves and practice new and subtle shifts in the way they lead. No riding is involved.

So what can we learn from horses about using our leadership presence?

1. The lead horse is not the most dominant, but the horse that can assure the well-being of the herd. Horses demonstrate servant leadership. Lead stallions and mares assert their leadership clearly and watch for signs that the others understand they are the leader. Once respect for the lead horse as primary resource for safety and guidance is established, other resources, such as access to food and water, are not controlled by the leader but are turned back to the herd to use as needed. Leaders benefit from understanding the difference between dominance and servant leadership as they steer their companies and manage their employees.

5. Horses run a tight herd. If a colt misbehaves, he is in real trouble because the lead mare will send him outside of the herd where he's in danger. He knows it and knows he's got to show willingness to work with the group. Only then will he be let back in. Leaders learn how to set boundaries and give clear direction with a horse-and with the staff back at the office.

horse rehabilitation therapist

Therapeutic Horseback Riding for Veterans

Finding the right words to express the special way that horses help humans to grow their awareness has been a thought provoking process. Equine Facilitated Learning and Coaching (EFLC) includes the horse and the human as partners in providing personal and professional growth experiences for individuals and groups.

Let's reflected on the meaning of each word:

Equine - Horse

Facilitate - to make easier or less difficult, to help forward (an action, a process, etc.), and to assist the progress of (a person).

Learning - the acquisition and development of memories and behaviors, including skills, knowledge, understanding, values, and wisdom. It is the product of experience and the goal of education. Learning ranges from simple forms of learning such as habituation and classical conditioning seen in many animal species, to more complex activities such as play, seen only in relatively intelligent animals.

Equine Facilitated Learning & Coaching programs that can offer this experience will honor the horse for the teachings they provide for the client and offer addition support through a coaching conversation. An experienced trained coach has the conversation and communication skills and tools to help the client have a full understanding of their equine experience and how to apply that experience into their everyday life.

horse retreats

Colorado equine therapy for veterans with ptsd

horses helping veterans Erie

We are the ultimate answer to your equestrian therapy questions in the Erie area! If you would like to learn more about Horse Therapy For Veterans then continue reading! Horses help with many different problems that we may face on a daily basis! There is even Ptsd Treatment With Horses!

horses and veterans

Equine-assisted therapy

Jane had just returned from a much needed vacation; a spiritual retreat she called it. She had been working for 9 years in her current position of Director of OD. She was stuck-something needed to give.

Jane was very much looking forward to the 2 day leadership retreat with the horses. She was very supportive of trying new methodologies for self and team discovery. Although she new little of the connection between leadership and horses, she knew from the accuracy of the Personal Leadership Assessment everyone had taken in advance of the workshop that this experience was going to be revealing no matter what happened.

One would never know what was really going on with Jane; no one human that is. She seemed happy and vibrant and full of support for her team. However, Dolly, a 17 year old alfa mare, had Jane's number from the beginning.

This particular exercise required simply leading the horse. Now this is something you would think a leader could do quite easily. They have been directing and guiding people for years. And most leaders assume that those people are doing what they say and following them. Some go so far as to 'inspect what they expect'. After 16 years consulting and coaching leaders, I can easily say most don't.

Throughout the remainder of the workshop, Jane was able to 'be' more completely. Her vulnerability led to a level of trust with her team that enabled them to have similar experiences. Now they have the opportunity and muscle memory to lead their teams through this same vulnerability. Through her session with Dolly, Jane experienced 'real' leadership and shared this with her team.

At the end of the two days, the team summed up what they had learned. One thing was very clear to them...their definition and concept of leadership had changed dramatically. This is the power, and the gift, of equine facilitated coaching.

equine psychotherapy

Animal-assisted therapy

Therapeutic Horseback Riding (THR) is a therapeutic program that provides equine assisted activities for individuals with disabilities in order to improve their physical, emotional, and mental well-being. This is done through an adaptive riding program that focuses not only on riding skills but also on the development of a relationship between the horse and rider. The program can include work both on the ground such as grooming, leading, or directing a horse, and activities on horseback.

Therapeutic riding activities are conducted by certified therapeutic riding instructors in conjunction with trained volunteers. During riding activities a new rider or an individual with physical limitations is generality assisted by two side-walkers who walk alongside the horse, as well as a horse leader. These individuals are volunteers that have been trained to assist the instructor in the conduct of the therapeutic program.

Therapeutic riding differs from hippo-therapy, one form of equine assisted therapy, in that in hippo-therapy a physical or occupational therapist uses only the movement of the horse to improve an individual's sensory and motor skills. The therapist does not teach riding skills or seek to develop a relationship between the horse and rider. The primary goal of hippo-therapy is to improve the individual's balance, posture, function, and mobility. Therapeutic riding is a broader program of therapy that can include multiple therapeutic elements simultaneously.

Therapeutic riding combines the physical aspect of riding in improving balance, posture and mobility and adds the mental, emotional and cognitive skills required to ride a horse and develop a positive working relationship with the horse. This expansion of therapy beyond just the physical aspects involved in riding a horse can improve an individual's emotional control, behavioral self-regulation and cognitive functioning and help them function more productively and effectively in society.

Therapeutic riding centers and their instructors are certified by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International and therapy is conducted as part of an overall treatment plan developed in conjunction with a medical health professional. Safety is a paramount concern and therapeutic riding is not appropriate for individuals with certain disabilities. Instructors work with the health care provider to plan for the individual's needs, appropriate supervision, and ensure rider safety.

There are a wide range of physical, mental, and emotional disabilities that can benefit from the use of therapeutic riding. Some of the many individuals who research has proven can benefit from therapeutic horseback riding include those with attention deficit disorder, autism, amputations, brain injuries, stroke, cerebral palsy, downs syndrome, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, and a wide variety of emotional, cognitive, or mental disabilities.

For those with physical limitations experiencing the rhythmic motion of a horse can be very beneficial to improve muscle function and control. Riding a horse moves the rider's body in a manner similar to the human gait, so riders with physical needs often show improvement in flexibility, balance and muscle strength. For individuals with mental and emotional challenges, the unique relationship formed with the horse can lead to increased confidence, patience and self-esteem

There have been numerous studies that have shown evidence of the benefits of therapeutic riding. Individuals with cognitive disabilities such as autism or Downs Syndrome have shown demonstrated benefits from THR. Bass, Duchowny, and Llabre (2008) found that children with autism who participated in a therapeutic horseback riding program improved in sensory integration and directed attention as compared to the control group. While Biery and Kaufman (1989) showed that significant improvement was seen on standing and quadruped balance after the therapeutic riding program for individuals with Downs Syndrome

It is clear from the research and from the responses of individual participants that therapeutic riding is a physical activity that can provide significant benefits to individuals with physical, emotional, or mental challenges. It requires an individual to control and exercise a wide range of muscles, while simultaneously having the individual exercise emotional and cognitive skills required to maintain control of the horse. Like any physical activity it provides benefits beyond those to the muscular skeletal and cardiovascular systems. There are boosts to cognitive skills as well as to emotional well-being. The interaction with the horse adds an additional element to the equation in that the individual can establish a relationship or connection with their equine partner. Therapeutic riding is a beneficial physical activity has demonstrated the ability to change and benefit the lives of numerous individuals and assist them to live a healthier, more active, and more productive life.

References:

Biery, Martha, Kaufmann, Nancy, 1989, "The Effects of Therapeutic Horseback Riding on Balance." Adaptive Physical Activity Quarterly, Volume 6, Issue 3, pgs 221-229.

Crothers, G. (1994). "Learning disability: Riding to success." Nursing Standard, 8, 16-18.

Emory, D. (1992). "Effects of therapeutic horsemanship on the self-concepts and behavior of asocial adolescents." Dissertation Abstracts International, DAI-B 53/05, 561.

Kaiser, L., Smith, K., Heleski, C., & Spence, L. (2006). "Effects of a therapeutic riding program on at-risk and special needs children." Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 228, 46-52.

Learn About Therapeutic Riding. PATH International, November 3, 2015.

Miller, John, Alston, Dr. Antoine J, "Therapeutic Riding: An Educational Tool for Children with Disabilities as Viewed by Parents", Journal of Southern Agricultural Education Research, 2004, Volume 54, Number 1, pgs 113-123.

Scheidhacker, M., Bender, W., and Vaitel, P. (1991). "The effectiveness of therapeutic horseback riding in the treatment of chronic schizophrenic patients. Experimental results and clinical experiences." Nervenarzt, 62, 283-287.

Shambo, Leigh, Seely, Susan K., Voderfecht, Heather R. "A Pilot Study on Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy for Trauma Related Disorders", 2010,

Stickney, Margaret Ann, "A Qualitative Study of the Perceived Health Benefits of a Therapeutic Riding Program for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders", 2010, University of Kentucky Doctoral Dissertations. Paper 40.

Zadnikar Monika, Kastrin Andrej, "Effects of hippotherapy and therapeutic horseback riding on postural control or balance in children with cerebral palsy: a meta-analysis", August 2011, Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, Volume 53, Issue 8, pages 684-691.

horses and therapy

Colorado equine therapy for veterans with ptsd

horse therapy for special needs Edwards

We are the ultimate answer to your equestrian therapy questions in the Edwards area! If you would like to learn more about Horse Therapy For Veterans then continue reading! Horses help with many different problems that we may face on a daily basis! There is even Ptsd Treatment With Horses!

equine assisted activities

How to Utilize Virtual Equestrian Coaching

Jane had just returned from a much needed vacation; a spiritual retreat she called it. She had been working for 9 years in her current position of Director of OD. She was stuck-something needed to give.

Jane was very much looking forward to the 2 day leadership retreat with the horses. She was very supportive of trying new methodologies for self and team discovery. Although she new little of the connection between leadership and horses, she knew from the accuracy of the Personal Leadership Assessment everyone had taken in advance of the workshop that this experience was going to be revealing no matter what happened.

One would never know what was really going on with Jane; no one human that is. She seemed happy and vibrant and full of support for her team. However, Dolly, a 17 year old alfa mare, had Jane's number from the beginning.

This particular exercise required simply leading the horse. Now this is something you would think a leader could do quite easily. They have been directing and guiding people for years. And most leaders assume that those people are doing what they say and following them. Some go so far as to 'inspect what they expect'. After 16 years consulting and coaching leaders, I can easily say most don't.

Throughout the remainder of the workshop, Jane was able to 'be' more completely. Her vulnerability led to a level of trust with her team that enabled them to have similar experiences. Now they have the opportunity and muscle memory to lead their teams through this same vulnerability. Through her session with Dolly, Jane experienced 'real' leadership and shared this with her team.

At the end of the two days, the team summed up what they had learned. One thing was very clear to them...their definition and concept of leadership had changed dramatically. This is the power, and the gift, of equine facilitated coaching.

spiritual horse retreats

Therapeutic Horseback Riding - An Overview

Since the concept of Virtual Coaching is so new in the horse world, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss how the average rider can benefit by adding it to their current training program. It should be used as a supplement, to enhance and deepen your understanding of the concepts you are learning in your program with your own trainer.

Say you are currently working on improving your sitting trot in your lessons at home. You can use Virtual Coaching to discuss what you are doing exactly to improve your sitting trot, what you feel is working, and what is not - and find out why those things are working or not working. You will also be able to get new ideas and exercises to try for any issue that you are working on. And of course the support and camaraderie of the group is always a welcome addition as well!

Virtual Coaching is a little like a college course on the subject of riding. And knowledge is power! A solid understanding of the "hows" and the "whys" of fundamental concepts and exercises is what turns a rider into a horseman (or horsewoman!). 

equestrian retreats

Colorado equine therapy for veterans with ptsd

ptsd treatment with horses Gunnison

We are the ultimate answer to your equestrian therapy questions in the Gunnison area! If you would like to learn more about Horse Therapy For Veterans then continue reading! Horses help with many different problems that we may face on a daily basis! There is even Ptsd Treatment With Horses!

equine therapy benefits

5 Lessons From Horses on Leadership Development

Horseback riding simulators are intended to allow people to gain the benefits of therapeutic horseback riding or to gain skill and conditioning for equestrian activity while diminishing the issues of surrounding cost, availability, and individual comfort level around horses.[1] Horseback therapy has been used by many types of therapists (ie: physical, occupational, and speech therapists) to advance their physical, mental, emotional, and social skills.

Simulators used for therapeutic purposes can be used anywhere (ie: clinic or a patient home), do not take up much space, and can be programmed to achieve the type of therapy desired. Additionally, difficulty level can be set by the therapist and increased gradually in subsequent sessions to reflect the patient’s progress and abilities.[2] Some people use these simulators as personal exercise machines to tone core muscles in an easy and low-impact manner.[3]

Products that attempt to accurately imitate the movement of a real horse and are sometimes used for therapeutic purposes as well as for developing equestrian skills or conditioning are the Equicizer, an American-developed mechanical product that resembles the body of a horse, imitates the movement of a race horse, and can be used at slower speeds for therapeutic and rehabilitation purposes.[4] Another product that resembles and moves like a real horse is the line of Racewood Equestrian Simulators, with 13 models to imitate actual movement of horses in various disciplines, including a simple walk and trot model.[5]

Simulators that do not resemble horses but imitate certain aspects of equine motion are popular in some Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea, in part because land for keeping actual horses is quite limited. One such commercial product is the Joba, created in Japan by rehabilitation doctor Testuhiko Kimura and the Matsushita Electric Industrial Company. The Joba does not resemble a horse, but rather just looks like a saddle, with plastic handle and stirrups, attached to a base that allows it to pitch and roll, exercising core muscles.[3] A similar product manufactured in the US is a stool-like device called the iGallop, which was commercially available in the mid 2000s and moves in a side-to-side and circular motion with various speed settings. However, it was criticized for not delivering the results claimed.[6]

There has been increased research regarding use of horseback riding simulators compared to conventional therapy methods. One 2011 study by Borges et al. compared children with cerebral palsy and postural issues who received conventional therapy to similar children who received therapy involving a riding simulator. The results from this study showed that children who received riding simulator therapy exhibited a statistically significant improvement regarding postural control in the sitting position, specifically regarding the maximal displacement in the mediolateral and anteroposterior directions. Parents of these children noted that their children executed activities of daily living that demanded greater mobility and postural control better than before.[2] In a 2014 study by Lee et. al, 26 children with cerebral palsy were divided into two groups: a hippotherapy group and a horseback riding simulator group. The children in each group underwent the same kind of therapy for the same amount of time using either a real horse or the simulator. Conventional physical therapy sessions were attended before each hippotherapy or horseback riding simulator session. It was found that both static and dynamic balance improved for the children in both groups following their 12-week-long programs and there was not a statistically significant difference between the results from the two groups. This indicates that using a horseback riding simulator can be as effective as hippotherapy for improving balance in children with cerebral palsy.[7]

Another area of research involves horseback riding simulation with stroke patients. Trunk balance and gait were assessed before and after the stroke patients were treated using a horseback riding simulator. Because stroke patients are not able to keep both feet on the floor and weight distributed equally between them, it is very easy for them to lose trunk muscle strength and control of the trunk on one or both sides. In a 2014 study, 20 non-traumatic, unilateral stroke patients underwent therapy using a horseback riding simulator. Their therapy included six 30-minute sessions a week for five weeks. The Trunk Impairment Scale (TIS) used to assess the patients before and after their therapy showed that they had better trunk control in a seated position following their sessions. Upon gait analysis, improvements in the areas of velocity, cadence, and stride length of the affected and non-affected sides were all observed. Additionally, the percentage of time spent in the double support phase was decreased. More research studies in which more subjects are tested for longer amounts of time are currently being investigated.[8]

spiritual horse retreats

Therapeutic Horseback Riding - An Overview

Jane had just returned from a much needed vacation; a spiritual retreat she called it. She had been working for 9 years in her current position of Director of OD. She was stuck-something needed to give.

Jane was very much looking forward to the 2 day leadership retreat with the horses. She was very supportive of trying new methodologies for self and team discovery. Although she new little of the connection between leadership and horses, she knew from the accuracy of the Personal Leadership Assessment everyone had taken in advance of the workshop that this experience was going to be revealing no matter what happened.

One would never know what was really going on with Jane; no one human that is. She seemed happy and vibrant and full of support for her team. However, Dolly, a 17 year old alfa mare, had Jane's number from the beginning.

This particular exercise required simply leading the horse. Now this is something you would think a leader could do quite easily. They have been directing and guiding people for years. And most leaders assume that those people are doing what they say and following them. Some go so far as to 'inspect what they expect'. After 16 years consulting and coaching leaders, I can easily say most don't.

Throughout the remainder of the workshop, Jane was able to 'be' more completely. Her vulnerability led to a level of trust with her team that enabled them to have similar experiences. Now they have the opportunity and muscle memory to lead their teams through this same vulnerability. Through her session with Dolly, Jane experienced 'real' leadership and shared this with her team.

At the end of the two days, the team summed up what they had learned. One thing was very clear to them...their definition and concept of leadership had changed dramatically. This is the power, and the gift, of equine facilitated coaching.

awareness coaching

Colorado equine therapy for veterans with ptsd

horses helping veterans El Jebel

We are the ultimate answer to your equestrian therapy questions in the El Jebel area! If you would like to learn more about Horse Therapy For Veterans then continue reading! Horses help with many different problems that we may face on a daily basis! There is even Ptsd Treatment With Horses!

what is equine therapy

5 Lessons From Horses on Leadership Development

Since the concept of Virtual Coaching is so new in the horse world, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss how the average rider can benefit by adding it to their current training program. It should be used as a supplement, to enhance and deepen your understanding of the concepts you are learning in your program with your own trainer.

Say you are currently working on improving your sitting trot in your lessons at home. You can use Virtual Coaching to discuss what you are doing exactly to improve your sitting trot, what you feel is working, and what is not - and find out why those things are working or not working. You will also be able to get new ideas and exercises to try for any issue that you are working on. And of course the support and camaraderie of the group is always a welcome addition as well!

Virtual Coaching is a little like a college course on the subject of riding. And knowledge is power! A solid understanding of the "hows" and the "whys" of fundamental concepts and exercises is what turns a rider into a horseman (or horsewoman!). 

coaching horses

Equine Coaching: Leadership Through Vulnerability

Traditionally, mankind and horses have had a strong bond, whether the horse is used for labor purposes or interacting in the various sporting events, such as, show-jumping and/or horse racing. It was not until the early eighteenth century that horseback riding was used for therapeutic purposes.

Horses, in general are believed, by therapists, to have an amazing effect on people with psychological, social and physical problems. Some of these problems include autistic children; young people with behavioral, emotional and addiction problems; people with Cerebral Palsy; spinal cord injuries; visual and hearing impairments; anxiety disorders; adults with depression and addictions and a host of other issues. People with the previously mentioned conditions are ideal candidates for horseback riding therapy. The success of these depends entirely on whether a close bond between the patient and horse is formed.

The various fields of equine therapy include:
- Hippo therapy - treatment practiced by a licensed physical and/or occupational therapist with the use of a horse to target specific needs.
- Therapeutic riding - a trained therapeutic riding instructor aids persons with disabilities.
- Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) - facilitated by a licensed health professional and equine expert to assist in various ways.

Horse backing riding therapy has many rewards. In addition to the muscular advantages, it also provides the person with the feeling of being able to care for a companion by assisting with the grooming, brushing and bathing. The outcome of this is relaxation, and it has a calming effect.

equine assisted life coaching

Colorado equine therapy for veterans with ptsd

horse therapy for veterans Limon

We are the ultimate answer to your equestrian therapy questions in the Limon area! If you would like to learn more about Horse Therapy For Veterans then continue reading! Horses help with many different problems that we may face on a daily basis! There is even Ptsd Treatment With Horses!

equine assisted counseling

Horses As Partners in Powerful Coaching

If you enlist a 1200-pound coaching partner for your next session, it's likely you'll achieve a remarkable change in the dynamic of the coaching relationship. No, it's not through intimidation; the method is equine-assisted coaching, working with horses to help clarify and resolve issues, heighten awareness of assumptions, develop trust and get results.

Horses are sentient beings with the capacity for independent thinking, social relationships, individual dispositions as well as physical abilities and limitations-and they make excellent partners to create powerful coaching. They have no investment in the outcome of the coaching relationship; they don't lie, they have no egos or agendas. Horses simply are who they are, clearly, purely, without any need for things to be right or wrong. That's why the information they give us about ourselves and our clients is so powerful. They are perfect mirrors for us to look at how we are creating our current reality.

If horses learn that they can trust you to do what you say you are going to do and ask clearly for what you want, they will almost always give you what you ask for. They are simple in this way. They show us how our relationship to them can give poor or wonderful results. Whatever your goal is around a horse-that he'll let you pet him, ride him or just walk alongside-if you have established the basics, you will achieve the results you want. Horses as partners in coaching show us the critical importance of relationship in learning and results. This type of clarity should form the basis of any human interaction, as well. When interpersonal relationships don't work or are less than optimal, so are business results.

Are you not getting the results you want with your team or clients? See if a horse can help you progress together by learning about the basics of developing trust, and communicating clearly.

equine assisted activities

Equine-assisted therapy

Horses look for presence in the moment and clarity about where you are going and how. They create an especially valuable mirror to humans-masterful as we are about thinking one way and feeling or behaving another. You can't lead a horse if you're not fully present or unclear about where you are going. You may be able to fool yourself, but you can't fool a horse.

Horse-guided coaching is experiential learning in which people see their energy and behavior reflected by horses, gain clarity about their leadership presence, style and effectiveness with others. Through horse-human exercises on the ground, participants discover new information about themselves and practice new and subtle shifts in the way they lead. No riding is involved.

So what can we learn from horses about using our leadership presence?

1. The lead horse is not the most dominant, but the horse that can assure the well-being of the herd. Horses demonstrate servant leadership. Lead stallions and mares assert their leadership clearly and watch for signs that the others understand they are the leader. Once respect for the lead horse as primary resource for safety and guidance is established, other resources, such as access to food and water, are not controlled by the leader but are turned back to the herd to use as needed. Leaders benefit from understanding the difference between dominance and servant leadership as they steer their companies and manage their employees.

5. Horses run a tight herd. If a colt misbehaves, he is in real trouble because the lead mare will send him outside of the herd where he's in danger. He knows it and knows he's got to show willingness to work with the group. Only then will he be let back in. Leaders learn how to set boundaries and give clear direction with a horse-and with the staff back at the office.

horses and veterans

Colorado equine therapy for veterans with ptsd

equine physical therapy Julesburg

We are the ultimate answer to your equestrian therapy questions in the Julesburg area! If you would like to learn more about Horse Therapy For Veterans then continue reading! Horses help with many different problems that we may face on a daily basis! There is even Ptsd Treatment With Horses!

equine assisted coaching

How to Utilize Virtual Equestrian Coaching

Traditionally, mankind and horses have had a strong bond, whether the horse is used for labor purposes or interacting in the various sporting events, such as, show-jumping and/or horse racing. It was not until the early eighteenth century that horseback riding was used for therapeutic purposes.

Horses, in general are believed, by therapists, to have an amazing effect on people with psychological, social and physical problems. Some of these problems include autistic children; young people with behavioral, emotional and addiction problems; people with Cerebral Palsy; spinal cord injuries; visual and hearing impairments; anxiety disorders; adults with depression and addictions and a host of other issues. People with the previously mentioned conditions are ideal candidates for horseback riding therapy. The success of these depends entirely on whether a close bond between the patient and horse is formed.

The various fields of equine therapy include:
- Hippo therapy - treatment practiced by a licensed physical and/or occupational therapist with the use of a horse to target specific needs.
- Therapeutic riding - a trained therapeutic riding instructor aids persons with disabilities.
- Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) - facilitated by a licensed health professional and equine expert to assist in various ways.

Horse backing riding therapy has many rewards. In addition to the muscular advantages, it also provides the person with the feeling of being able to care for a companion by assisting with the grooming, brushing and bathing. The outcome of this is relaxation, and it has a calming effect.

horse rehabilitation therapist

Equine Coaching: Leadership Through Vulnerability

Veterans with mental health issues face many challenges. The military prides itself on mental toughness and to admit a mental health issue can be a huge blow to a veterans psyche. There can be a loss of pride and a feeling of being a failure. Often they withdraw and lose hope for a brighter future. They can live in a lonely world of pain that most cannot fathom. This is often exacerbated through a society that stigmatizes individuals suffering from mental illness. But these issues are not only an illness they are truly mental injuries. Just as real and as painful as a physical injury, but not visible.

Thankfully, the horses and staff at a therapeutic riding center are only interested in providing support, compassion, a helping hand (or hoof) and education. The horses have no stigma about a person with mental health issues. The horses only want to know if you can learn their language. The horses know the right answer, a veteran just has to learn to ask the right question. Fortunately this is a language that a talented program director can teach brilliantly, with love and compassion for both the veteran and the horse.

At a therapeutic riding center veterans find compassion, support, guidance, and gentle direction. They find a place where they can heal. They find a place without the stressors of an inpatient mental health system. A place where they can express their emotions with the beautiful creatures that provide honest and supportive feedback. There is a sense of calm and peace about the center, its staff, and the horses who are so beautifully trained to provide therapeutic support.

horse therapy for children

Colorado equine therapy for veterans with ptsd

equine therapy Highlands Ranch

We are the ultimate answer to your equestrian therapy questions in the Highlands Ranch area! If you would like to learn more about Horse Therapy For Veterans then continue reading! Horses help with many different problems that we may face on a daily basis! There is even Ptsd Treatment With Horses!

equine assisted activities

Equine-assisted therapy

Since the concept of Virtual Coaching is so new in the horse world, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss how the average rider can benefit by adding it to their current training program. It should be used as a supplement, to enhance and deepen your understanding of the concepts you are learning in your program with your own trainer.

Say you are currently working on improving your sitting trot in your lessons at home. You can use Virtual Coaching to discuss what you are doing exactly to improve your sitting trot, what you feel is working, and what is not - and find out why those things are working or not working. You will also be able to get new ideas and exercises to try for any issue that you are working on. And of course the support and camaraderie of the group is always a welcome addition as well!

Virtual Coaching is a little like a college course on the subject of riding. And knowledge is power! A solid understanding of the "hows" and the "whys" of fundamental concepts and exercises is what turns a rider into a horseman (or horsewoman!). 

equine assisted life coaching

Therapeutic Horseback Riding for Veterans

Therapeutic Horseback Riding (THR) is a therapeutic program that provides equine assisted activities for individuals with disabilities in order to improve their physical, emotional, and mental well-being. This is done through an adaptive riding program that focuses not only on riding skills but also on the development of a relationship between the horse and rider. The program can include work both on the ground such as grooming, leading, or directing a horse, and activities on horseback.

Therapeutic riding activities are conducted by certified therapeutic riding instructors in conjunction with trained volunteers. During riding activities a new rider or an individual with physical limitations is generality assisted by two side-walkers who walk alongside the horse, as well as a horse leader. These individuals are volunteers that have been trained to assist the instructor in the conduct of the therapeutic program.

Therapeutic riding differs from hippo-therapy, one form of equine assisted therapy, in that in hippo-therapy a physical or occupational therapist uses only the movement of the horse to improve an individual's sensory and motor skills. The therapist does not teach riding skills or seek to develop a relationship between the horse and rider. The primary goal of hippo-therapy is to improve the individual's balance, posture, function, and mobility. Therapeutic riding is a broader program of therapy that can include multiple therapeutic elements simultaneously.

Therapeutic riding combines the physical aspect of riding in improving balance, posture and mobility and adds the mental, emotional and cognitive skills required to ride a horse and develop a positive working relationship with the horse. This expansion of therapy beyond just the physical aspects involved in riding a horse can improve an individual's emotional control, behavioral self-regulation and cognitive functioning and help them function more productively and effectively in society.

Therapeutic riding centers and their instructors are certified by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International and therapy is conducted as part of an overall treatment plan developed in conjunction with a medical health professional. Safety is a paramount concern and therapeutic riding is not appropriate for individuals with certain disabilities. Instructors work with the health care provider to plan for the individual's needs, appropriate supervision, and ensure rider safety.

There are a wide range of physical, mental, and emotional disabilities that can benefit from the use of therapeutic riding. Some of the many individuals who research has proven can benefit from therapeutic horseback riding include those with attention deficit disorder, autism, amputations, brain injuries, stroke, cerebral palsy, downs syndrome, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, and a wide variety of emotional, cognitive, or mental disabilities.

For those with physical limitations experiencing the rhythmic motion of a horse can be very beneficial to improve muscle function and control. Riding a horse moves the rider's body in a manner similar to the human gait, so riders with physical needs often show improvement in flexibility, balance and muscle strength. For individuals with mental and emotional challenges, the unique relationship formed with the horse can lead to increased confidence, patience and self-esteem

There have been numerous studies that have shown evidence of the benefits of therapeutic riding. Individuals with cognitive disabilities such as autism or Downs Syndrome have shown demonstrated benefits from THR. Bass, Duchowny, and Llabre (2008) found that children with autism who participated in a therapeutic horseback riding program improved in sensory integration and directed attention as compared to the control group. While Biery and Kaufman (1989) showed that significant improvement was seen on standing and quadruped balance after the therapeutic riding program for individuals with Downs Syndrome

It is clear from the research and from the responses of individual participants that therapeutic riding is a physical activity that can provide significant benefits to individuals with physical, emotional, or mental challenges. It requires an individual to control and exercise a wide range of muscles, while simultaneously having the individual exercise emotional and cognitive skills required to maintain control of the horse. Like any physical activity it provides benefits beyond those to the muscular skeletal and cardiovascular systems. There are boosts to cognitive skills as well as to emotional well-being. The interaction with the horse adds an additional element to the equation in that the individual can establish a relationship or connection with their equine partner. Therapeutic riding is a beneficial physical activity has demonstrated the ability to change and benefit the lives of numerous individuals and assist them to live a healthier, more active, and more productive life.

References:

Biery, Martha, Kaufmann, Nancy, 1989, "The Effects of Therapeutic Horseback Riding on Balance." Adaptive Physical Activity Quarterly, Volume 6, Issue 3, pgs 221-229.

Crothers, G. (1994). "Learning disability: Riding to success." Nursing Standard, 8, 16-18.

Emory, D. (1992). "Effects of therapeutic horsemanship on the self-concepts and behavior of asocial adolescents." Dissertation Abstracts International, DAI-B 53/05, 561.

Kaiser, L., Smith, K., Heleski, C., & Spence, L. (2006). "Effects of a therapeutic riding program on at-risk and special needs children." Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 228, 46-52.

Learn About Therapeutic Riding. PATH International, November 3, 2015.

Miller, John, Alston, Dr. Antoine J, "Therapeutic Riding: An Educational Tool for Children with Disabilities as Viewed by Parents", Journal of Southern Agricultural Education Research, 2004, Volume 54, Number 1, pgs 113-123.

Scheidhacker, M., Bender, W., and Vaitel, P. (1991). "The effectiveness of therapeutic horseback riding in the treatment of chronic schizophrenic patients. Experimental results and clinical experiences." Nervenarzt, 62, 283-287.

Shambo, Leigh, Seely, Susan K., Voderfecht, Heather R. "A Pilot Study on Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy for Trauma Related Disorders", 2010,

Stickney, Margaret Ann, "A Qualitative Study of the Perceived Health Benefits of a Therapeutic Riding Program for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders", 2010, University of Kentucky Doctoral Dissertations. Paper 40.

Zadnikar Monika, Kastrin Andrej, "Effects of hippotherapy and therapeutic horseback riding on postural control or balance in children with cerebral palsy: a meta-analysis", August 2011, Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, Volume 53, Issue 8, pages 684-691.

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Colorado equine therapy for veterans with ptsd

equine therapy for veterans with ptsd Greenwood Village

We are the ultimate answer to your equestrian therapy questions in the Greenwood Village area! If you would like to learn more about Horse Therapy For Veterans then continue reading! Horses help with many different problems that we may face on a daily basis! There is even Ptsd Treatment With Horses!

equine assisted life coaching

5 Lessons From Horses on Leadership Development

Dogs are common in animal-assisted therapy.

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is a type of therapy that involves animals as a form of treatment. The goal of AAT is to improve a patient's social, emotional, or cognitive functioning. Advocates state that animals can be useful for educational and motivational effectiveness for participants.[1] A therapist who brings along a pet may be viewed as being less threatening, increasing the rapport between patient and therapist.[2][medical citation needed] Animals used in therapy include domesticated pets, farm animals and marine mammals (such as dolphins). The research literature states concerns about the poor quality of medical evidence underpinning AAT.[3]

Wilson's (1984) biophilia hypothesis is based on the premise that our attachment to and interest in animals stems from the strong possibility that human survival was partly dependent on signals from animals in the environment indicating safety or threat. The biophilia hypothesis suggests that now, if we see animals at rest or in a peaceful state, this may signal to us safety, security and feelings of well-being which in turn may trigger a state where personal change and healing are possible.[4] A contrast is sometimes made with Animal assisted activity (AAA).[5] AAA is more casual and unstructured than AAT, involving perhaps more than one patient and with the primary focus on the presence of the animal itself. By contrast, AAT includes a handler which together with the animal has been trained for the role. AAT is more structured with specific objectives for each session. However, in common usage terms like these for animal assisted interventions are often used rather loosely.[5]

Animals can be used in a variety of settings such as prisons, nursing homes, mental institutions,[6] hospitals and in the home.[2][medical citation needed] Assistance dogs can assist people with many different disabilities; they are capable of assisting certain life activities and help the individuals navigate outside of the home.[2]

As with all other interventions, assessing whether a program is effective as far as its outcomes are concerned is easier when the goals are clear and are able to be specified. The literature review identified a range of goals for animal assisted therapy programs relevant to children and young people. They include enhanced capacity to form positive relationships with others i-relief in pet ownership.[7]

Pets may promote kindness in children.

Therapists rely on techniques such as monitoring a child's behavior with the animal, their tone of voice, and indirect interviewing. These techniques are used, along with the child's pet or other animal, in order to gain information.[8] Before pet therapy can be useful, the child and the animal must first develop a sense of comfort with each other, which is easier to achieve if the child's own pet is used.[8] The applied technique that generates the most helpful information about the victim's experience is telling the child that the animal wants to know how they are feeling or what happened. AAT can be used in children with mental health problems, it can be used as a stand a lone treatment or it can be used along with conventional methods.[9] Animals can be used as a distraction method when it comes to various situations, pain, and can also help bring in happiness, pleasure, and entertainments to the pediatric population. Animals can also help improve children's moods and reinforce positive behaviors while helping to decrease negative ones.[10]

Pets may provide an opportunity for fun and relaxation for people in institutions.[2]

Prison based animal-assistance programs involve an inmate working with a qualified handler to train an animal through a structured and goal-oriented program. The overall aim of using animal-assisted therapy in prisons is to relieve stress of the inmates and workers, enhance cognitive and behavioral capabilities, improve social skills, and to teach love, patience, and empathy in a realistic setting. Animal-assisted therapy is directly linked to increased physical and mental health benefits, induced relaxation, self-confidence, improved intrapersonal and interpersonal skills, and better environmental conditions. As of 2016 there are not many studies that examine animal-assistance programs at the prison level, especially in terms of long-terms effects, so the success rate cannot be accurately measured. However, effects from similar case studies such as rehabilitation programs or nursing homes can be evaluated and applied to the current state of the prison system in order to examine other alternatives to reform programs. If applied in prison settings results may show an increase in better environmental conditions and social support among staff and inmates by teaching them how to cope with hostile environments. It is likely the inmates will transfer the knowledge and skills learned in the correctional program to their transition outside of the institution, contributing to the larger society by generating productive members of society. Time in prison should be geared toward helping inmates build the life skills needed to push them down the right track, especially in the face of mental illness, loss, or addiction. The effect that animals have on a person's ability to understand love, empathy, and compassion are reasons to further explore animal-assisted therapy in correctional settings.[11]

Animal assisted therapy draws on the bond between animals and humans in order to help improve and maintain an individual's function and is being used to assist in the process of enhancing the individual's quality of life in nursing homes.[12][non-primary source needed] Psychologists and therapists notice increasing unfavorable behaviors of elderly people that are transferred to nursing homes. Once the patients become settled into their new environment, they lose their sense of self-efficacy and independence. Simple, everyday tasks are taken away from them and the patients become lethargic, depressed, and anti-social if they do not have regular visitors.[13]

When elderly people are transferred to nursing homes or LTC facilities, they often become passive, agitated, withdrawn, depressed, and inactive because of the lack of regular visitors or the loss of loved ones.[14] Supporters of AAT say that animals can be helpful in motivating the patients to be active mentally and physically, keeping their minds sharp and bodies healthy.[1] Therapists or visitors who bring animals into their sessions at the nursing home are often viewed as less threatening, which increases the relationship between the therapist/visitor and patient.[15]

There are numerous techniques used in AAT, depending on the needs and condition of the patient. For elderly dementia patients, hands on interactions with the animal are the most important aspect. Animal assisted therapy provides these patients with opportunities to have close physical contact with the animals warm bodies, feeling heartbeats, caress soft skins and coats, notice breathing, and giving hugs. Animal assisted therapy counselors also plan activities for patients that need physical movement. These planned tasks include petting the animal, walking the animal, and grooming the animal. These experiences seem so common and simple, but elderly dementia patients do not typically have these interactions with people because their loved ones have passed or no one comes to visit them. Their mind needs to be stimulated in the ways it once was. Animals provide a sense of meaning and belonging to these patients and offer something to look forward to during their long days.[13]

There are many types of AAT ranging from the use of dogs, to cats, even to small animals such as fish and hamsters. The most popular forms of AAT include canine therapy, dolphin therapy, and equine therapy.[16]

Dolphin assisted therapy refers to the practice of swimming with dolphins. Proponents claim for such encounters "extraordinary results of the therapy and breakthroughs in outcomes",[17][non-primary source needed] however this form of therapy has been strongly criticised as having no long term benefit,[18] and being based on flawed observations.[19] Psychologists have cautioned that dolphin assisted therapy is not effective for any known condition and presents considerable risks to both human patients and the captive dolphins.[20] Dolphin assisted therapy's agenda is to help people with autism, Down syndrome, and Cerebral Palsy with rehabilitation in motor function, speech, and language as well as to maintain and increase the client's attention span. The child has a one-on-one session with a therapist in a marine park of some kind.[21] An ethical issue with data on dolphin-assisted therapy and the effectiveness of it is that most of the research is done by people who operate the dolphin-assisted therapy programs.[21] Dolphin assisted therapy is an alternative medicine/therapy option for people who do not respond or are not keen on traditional medicines/therapies and it is a controversial therapy. John Lilly, who studied dolphin-human interaction, first considered this idea that interactions with dolphins can have rewarding benefits on humans in the 1960s. David Nathanson, who was a clinical psychologist, came up with much of the existing research on this therapy today. Nathanson's theory was that children with disabilities would increase their attention to related stimuli in the environment in hopes they would get to interact with the dolphins, helping motivate the child to do the task at hand and to give the appropriate responses according to that child's therapy program lessons.[21]

Hippotherapy is promoted as a treatment for people with physical or mental challenges.

A distinction exists between hippotherapy and therapeutic horseback riding. The American Hippotherapy Association defines hippotherapy as a physical, occupational, and speech-language therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement as part of an integrated intervention program to achieve functional outcomes, while the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATHI) defines therapeutic riding as a riding lesson specially adapted for people with special needs.[22] According to Marty Becker, hippotherapy programs are active "in twenty-four countries and the horse's functions have expanded to therapeutic riding for people with physical, psychological, cognitive, social, and behavioral problems".[23] Hippotherapy has also been approved by the American Speech and Hearing Association as a treatment method for individuals with speech disorders.[22] In addition, equine assisted psychotherapy (EAP) uses horses for work with persons who have mental health issues. EAP often does not involve riding.[24][25] Additional information pertaining to equine assisted therapy can be seen with Laira Gold's open clinical study of EAT.[26]

The lack of studies done on Animal-assisted therapy has led to large controversy in whether it is effective or not. With such diversity in AAT there are many scholarly articles that are positive and negative. The effectiveness can not be determinant with out talking to a physiologist.[27] There has been criticism as to the effectiveness of AAT. According to Lilienfeld and Arkowitz animal-assisted therapy is better considered a temporary fix. They point to the lack of longitudinal data or research to see if there is evidence for long term improvement in patients undergoing the therapy. They then suggest that this further supports the idea that AAT is more of an affective method of therapy rather than a behavioral treatment. They also state the dangers of these therapy programs in particular the Dolphin assisted therapy. Dolphin assisted therapy has not been shown to have significant results when dealing with a child's behavior. Instead Lilienfeld suggest that again animal assisted therapy might be a short term reinforce, not a long term one. They also suggest that studies dealing with children should look into more balanced measures, such as having one group of children in the Dolphin group and the other in a setting where they still receive positive reinforcement. It is also suggested that DAT is harmful to the dolphins themselves; by taking dolphins out of their natural environment and putting them in captivity for therapy can be hazardous to their well being.[28] There are not many quantitative studies about the effect of swimming with dolphins have on social behavior.[29] Of the few studies, data has seemed limited or mixed in results. The first research on the effects of Dolphin-Assisted Therapy as a treatment was a case study by Betsy Smith in 1987. The dolphins were used to motivate a child with autism to communicate.[29] Smith concluded that the use of Dolphin-Assisted Therapy has shown promising results on increasing attention spans and improved interaction and play behavior in the children. Other studies after concerning Dolphin Assisted Therapy yielded about the same results but failed to take into account other situational factors, what is also known as a confound, one or more effective ingredient in a study[30] that may affect results in the study.

Another limitation of pet therapy also centers on the application during scenarios that involve adults who have been sexually assaulted. While pets do tend to cause more comfort to victims, pet therapy may not be the catalyst that provides positive success in therapy sessions. As mentioned above, adults tend not to focus as much on having an animal companion, and therefore, pet therapy cannot be attributed as the reason for success in those types of therapy sessions.[8] Pet therapy does not raise any ethical concerns as far as advancing nonscientific agendas. On the other hand, there are some ethical concerns that arise when applying pet therapy to younger victims of sexual assault. For example, if a child is introduced to an animal that is not their pet, the application of pet therapy can cause some concerns. First of all, some children may not be comfortable with animals or may be frightened, so there would be ethical concerns with using pet therapy, which could be avoided by asking permission to use animals in therapy. Second, a special bond is created between animal and child during pet therapy. Therefore, if the animal in question does not belong to the child, there may be some negative side effects when the child discontinues therapy. The child will have become attached to the animal, which does raise some ethical issues as far as subjecting a child to the disappointment and possible relapse that can occur after therapy discontinues.[8]

The AAT program encourages expressions of emotions and cognitive stimulation through discussions and reminiscing of memories while the patient bonds with the animal. Many of the troubling symptoms in elderly dementia patients include decreased physical functioning, apathy, depression, loneliness, and disturbing behaviors.[13]

In 2014 a study was unable to find evidence to make any recommendations for the use of AAT to alleviate agitation in older people with dementia; only three studies had been done to that date, with mixed results.[31]

A study in 2017 evaluated results from ten research articles and found that animal assisted therapies (particularly using dogs) resulted in measurable quality of life improvements.[32]

Animal-assisted therapy sprouted from the idea and initial belief in the supernatural powers of animals and animal spirits. It first appeared in the groupings of early hunter gatherer societies.[citation needed] In modern times animals are seen as "agents of socialization" and as providers of "social support and relaxation".[33] Though animal assisted therapy is believed to have begun in these early human periods it is undocumented and based on speculation. The earliest reported use of AAT for the mentally ill took place in the late 18th century at the York Retreat in England, led by William Tuke.[34] Patients at this facility were allowed to wander the grounds which contained a population of small domestic animals. These were believed to be effective tools for socialization. In 1860, the Bethlem Hospital in England followed the same trend and added animals to the ward, greatly influencing the morale of the patients living there.[34]

Sigmund Freud kept many dogs and often had his chow Jofi present during his pioneering sessions of psychoanalysis. He noticed that the presence of the dog was helpful because the patient would find that their speech would not shock or disturb the dog and this reassured them and so encouraged them to relax and confide. This was most effective when the patient was a child or adolescent.[35] The theory behind AAT is what is known as Attachment theory.

Therapy involving animals was used in therapy by Dr. Boris Levinson who accidentally discovered the use of pet therapy with children when he left his dog alone with a difficult child, and upon returning, found the child talking to the dog.[8] However, in other pieces of literature it states that it was founded as early as 1792 at the Quaker Society of Friends York Retreat in England.[36] Velde, Cipriani & Fisher also state "Florence Nightingale appreciated the benefits of pets in the treatment of individuals with illness. The US military promoted the use of dogs as a therapeutic intervention with psychiatric patients in 1919 at St Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, DC. Increased recognition of the value of human–pet bonding was noted by Dr. Boris Levinson in 1961".[36]

therapy horse

Equine Coaching: Leadership Through Vulnerability

Equine-assisted therapy has been used by medical professionals such as occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech language pathologists, psychologists, social workers, and recreational therapist

Equine-assisted therapy (EAT) encompasses a range of treatments that involve activities with horses and other equines to promote human physical and mental health.[1][2] The use of EAT has roots in antiquity, and EAT applies to physical health issues in modern form dates to the 1960s. Modern of horses for mental health treatment dates to the 1990s. Systematic review of studies of EAT as applied to physical health date only to about 2007, and a lack of common terminology and standardization has caused problems with meta-analysis. Due to a lack of high-quality studies assessing the efficacy of equine-assisted therapies for mental health treatment, concerns have been raised that these therapies should not replace or divert resources from other evidence-based mental health therapies.[3][4]

An overall term that encompasses all forms of equine therapy is Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapy (EAAT).[5] Various therapies that involve interactions with horses and other equines are used for individuals with and without special needs, including those with physical, cognitive and emotional issues.[1] Terminology within the field is not standardized, and the lack of clear definitions and common terminology presents problems in reviewing medical literature.[6] Within that framework, the more common therapies and terminology used to describe them are:

A demonstration of hippotherapy in Europe

Most research has focused on physical benefit of therapeutic work with horses, though the most rigorous studies have only been subject to systematic review since about 2007.[10]

EAAT have been used to treat individuals with neurological diseases or disorders such as cerebral palsy, movement disorders, or balance problems.[11] It is believed the rhythmical gait of a horse acts to move the rider's pelvis in the same rotation and side-to-side movement that occurs when walking; the horse's adjustable gait promotes riders to constantly adjust to encourage pelvic motion while promoting strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, posture, and mobility.[12][13]

EAAT have also been used to treat other disabilities, such as autism, behavioral disorders and psychiatric disorders.[7] Due to a lack of rigorous scientific evidence, there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate if equine therapy for mental health treatment provides any benefit.[3]

Therapeutic riding is used by disabled individuals who ride horses to relax, and to develop muscle tone, coordination, confidence, and well-being.[14]

Therapeutic horseback riding is considered recreational therapy where an individual is taught by a non-therapist riding instructor how to actively control a horse while riding.[15] It is used as exercise to improve sensory and motor skills for coordination, balance, and posture.[12][16]

Most research has focused on physical benefit of therapeutic work with horses, with the most rigorous studies being subject to systematic review since about 2007.[10] Claims made as to the efficacy of equine therapies for mental health purposes have been criticized as lacking proper medical evidence due in large part to poor study design and lack of quantitative data. Ethical questions relating to its expense and its continued promotion have been raised in light of this lack of evidence. While such therapies do not appear to cause harm, it has been recommended they not be used as a mental treatment at this time unless future evidence shows a benefit for treating specific disorders.[3]

Hippotherapy is an intervention used by physical therapist, recreational therapist, occupational therapist, or speech and language pathologist. The movement of the horse affects a rider's posture, balance, coordination, strength and sensorimotor systems. It is thought that the warmth and shape of the horse and its rhythmic, three-dimensional movement along with the rider's interactions with the horse and responses to the movement of the horse can improve the flexibility, posture, balance and mobility of the rider.[17] It differs from therapeutic horseback riding, because it is one treatment strategy used by a licensed physical therapist, occupational therapist, or speech and language pathologists. They guide the rider's posture and actions while the horse is controlled by a horse handler at the direction of the therapist. The therapist guides both the rider and horse to encourage specific motor and sensory inputs.[12][15][18] Therapists develop plans to address specific limitations and disabilities such as neuromuscular disorders, walking ability, or general motor function.[16]

Equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP) or Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) is the use of equines to treat human psychological problems in and around an equestrian facility. It is not the same as therapeutic riding or hippotherapy.[19]:221 Though different organizations may prefer one term over the other for various reasons, in practice, the two terms are used interchangeably.[19]:287 Other terms commonly used, especially in Canada, include Equine Facilitated Wellness (EFW), Equine Facilitated Counselling (EFC) and Equine Facilitated Mental Health (EFMH).[citation needed]

While some mental health therapies may incorporate vaulting and riding,[1] most utilize ground work with horses.[5] Some programs only use ground-based work.[20] There are also differences between programs over whether the horse is viewed as a co-facilitator, or simply as a tool.[19]:287

The field of equine-assisted psychotherapy did not publicly become a part of the equine-assisted therapy world until the 1990s, although individuals had been experimenting with the concept prior to that time. The first national group in the United States, the Equine-Facilitated Mental Health Association (EFMHA), now a part of PATH International, formed in 1996. The mental health area of equine-assisted therapy became subject to a major rift when a second group, the Equine Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) formed in 1999, splitting from EFMHA (now PATH) over differences of opinion about safety protocols.[19]:285–286 Since that time, additional differences have arisen between the two groups over safety orientation, the therapeutic models used, training programs for practitioners, and the role of riding.[21]:51 EAGALA itself had a further split between its founders in 2006 due to legal issues, with yet another new organization formed.[21]:52

As a result, although PATH and EAGALA remain the two main certification organizations in the United States, there has been a significant amount of misunderstanding amongst practitioners, client, and within scientific literature. To resolve these differences, an independent organization, the Certification Board for Equine Interaction Professionals (CBEIP) formed, beginning in 2007, to promote professional credibility in the field.[19]:286 However, the world of equine-assisted psychotherapy remains disorganized and has not standardized its requirements for education or credentialing.[19]:287

Horses have been utilized as a therapeutic aid since the ancient Greeks used them for those people who had incurable illnesses. Its earliest recorded mention is in the writings of Hippocrates who discussed the therapeutic value of riding.[22] The claimed benefits of therapeutic riding have been dated back to 17th century literature where it is documented that it was prescribed for gout, neurological disorder and low morale.[23] In 1946 Equine Therapy was introduced in Scandinavia after an outbreak of poliomyelitis.[24]

Hippotherapy as currently practiced was developed in the 1960s, when it began to be used in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland as an adjunct to traditional physical therapy.[25] The treatment was conducted by a physiotherapist, a specially trained horse, and a horse handler. The physiotherapist gave directives to the horse handler as to the gait, tempo, cadence, and direction for the horse to perform. The movement of the horse was carefully modulated to influence neuromuscular changes in the patient. The first standardized hippotherapy curriculum would be formulated in the late 1980s by a group of Canadian and American therapists who traveled to Germany to learn about hippotherapy and would bring the new discipline back to North America upon their return.[25] The discipline was formalized in the United States in 1992 with the formation of the American Hippotherapy Association (AHA). Since its inception, the AHA has established official standards of practice and formalized therapist educational curriculum processes for occupational, physical and speech therapists in the United States.[25]

Therapeutic riding as a therapy started with Liz Hartel from Denmark. Her legs were paralyzed from polio but with therapy she was able to win the silver medal for dressage in the 1952 Olympic Games. At about that time, in Germany, therapeutic riding was used to address orthopedic dysfunctions such as scoliosis. The first riding centers in North America began in the 1960s and the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) was launched in 1969.[26] Therapeutic riding was introduced to the United States and Canada in 1960 with the formation of the Community Association of Riding of the Disabled (CARD). In the United States riding for the disabled developed as a form of recreation and as a means of motivation for education, as well as its therapeutic benefits. In 1969 the Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center for the Handicapped was established in Michigan, and remains the oldest center specifically for people with disabilities in the United States.[24]

The North American Riding for Handicapped Association (NARHA) was founded in 1969 to serve as an advisory body to the various riding for disabled groups across the United States and its neighboring countries. In 2011, NARHA changed its name to the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International.[27]

In most cases, horses are trained and selected specifically for therapy before being integrated into a program. Therapy programs choose horses of any breed that they find to be calm, even-tempered, gentle, serviceably sound, and well-trained both under saddle and on the ground. As most equine-assisted therapy is done as slow speeds, an older horse that is not in its athletic prime is sometimes used.[28]

Equine-assisted therapy programs try to identify horses that are calm but not lazy and physically suited with proper balance, structure, muscling and gaits. Muscling is not generally considered to be as important as the balance and structural correctness, but proper conditioning for the work it is to do is required. Suitable horses move freely and have good quality gaits, especially the walk. Unsound horses that show any signs of lameness are generally avoided.[29]

The welfare of the horse is taken into consideration. Each individual animal has natural biological traits but also has a unique personality with its own likes, dislikes and habits. Paying attention to what the animal is trying to communicate is helpful both in sessions of EAAT, but also to prevent burnout for the horse. Some programs refer to the therapy horse as an "equine partner".[1] Other programs view the horse as a "metaphor" with no defined role other than to "be themselves."[20] Equine Facilitated Wellness programs, particularly those following the EFW-Canada certification route view the horse as 'sentient being': "The equine is a sentient being, partner and co-facilitator in the equine facilitated relationship and process".[30]

There is some evidence that hippotherapy can help improve the posture control of children with cerebral palsy, although the use of mechanical hippotherapy simulators produced no clear evidence of benefit.[18] A systematic review of studies on the outcomes of horseback riding therapy on gross motor function in children with cerebral palsy was concluded in 2012 with a recommendation for a "large randomized controlled trial using specified protocols" because, although positive evidence was indicated by nine high-quality studies surveyed, the studies were too limited to be considered conclusive.[12]

Overall, reviews of equine-assisted therapy scientific literature indicate "there is no unified, widely accepted, or empirically supported, theoretical framework for how and why these interventions may be therapeutic" [4] The journal Neurology published a 2014 study finding inadequate data to know whether hippotherapy or therapeutic horseback riding can help the gait, balance, or mood of people with multiple sclerosis.[31] There is not evidence that therapeutic horseback riding is effective in treating children with autism.[3][5]

There is currently insufficient medical evidence to support the effectiveness of equine-related treatments for mental health.[4] Multiple reviews have noted problems with the quality of research such as the lack of independent observers, rigorous randomized clinical trials, longitudinal studies, and comparisons to currently accepted and effective treatments.[32][3] A 2014 review found these treatments did no physical harm, but found that all studies examined had methodological flaws, which led to questioning the clinical significance of those studies; the review also raised ethical concerns both about the marketing and promotion of the practice and the opportunity cost if patients in need of mental health services were diverted from evidence-based care.[3] The review recommended that both individuals and organizations avoid this therapy unless future research establishes verifiable treatment benefits.[3][4]

The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) accredits centers and instructors that provide equine-assisted therapy.[33] The Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) focuses only on mental health aspects of human-equine interaction, and provides certification for mental-health and equine professionals.[34]

In Canada, centers and instructors for Therapeutic Riding are regulated by CanTRA, also known as The Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association. The field of Equine Facilitated Wellness is regulated by Equine Facilitated Wellness - Canada (EFW-Can) which provides a national certification program and certifies trainers and mentors to provide independent training at approved programs across Canada.[citation needed]

The American Hippotherapy Association offers certification for working as a hippotherapist. Hippotherapy Clinical Specialty (HPCS) Certification is a designation indicating board certification for therapists who have advanced knowledge and experience in hippotherapy. Physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists in practice for at least three years (6,000 hours) and have 100 hours of hippotherapy practice within the prior three years are permitted to take the Hippotherapy Clinical Specialty Certification Examination through the American Hippotherapy Certification Board. Those who pass are board-certified in hippotherapy, and entitled to use the HPCS designation after their name. HPCS certification is for five years. After five years the therapist can either retake the exam or show written evidence of 120 hours of continuing education distributed over the five years. Continuing education must include 50% (60 hours) in education related to equine subject matter: psychology, training, riding skills and so on; 25% (30 hours) in education related to direct service in the professional discipline and 25% (30 hours) in any other subject related to hippotherapy. An alternative is to provide written evidence of scholarly activity appropriate to the field of hippotherapy. Acceptable scholarly activity may include graduate education in hippotherapy, publication of articles on hippotherapy in juried publications, scientific research related to hippotherapy, the teaching or development of hippotherapy, or acting as AHA-approved course faculty. AHA, Inc. now recognizes two different AHCB credentials: AHCB Certified Therapist and AHCB Certified Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist.[35]

horse therapeutic riding

Colorado equine therapy for veterans with ptsd

horse therapy for depression Fairmount

We are the ultimate answer to your equestrian therapy questions in the Fairmount area! If you would like to learn more about Horse Therapy For Veterans then continue reading! Horses help with many different problems that we may face on a daily basis! There is even Ptsd Treatment With Horses!

therapeutic riding center

Meredith Manor International Equestrian Center

Horseback riding simulators are intended to allow people to gain the benefits of therapeutic horseback riding or to gain skill and conditioning for equestrian activity while diminishing the issues of surrounding cost, availability, and individual comfort level around horses.[1] Horseback therapy has been used by many types of therapists (ie: physical, occupational, and speech therapists) to advance their physical, mental, emotional, and social skills.

Simulators used for therapeutic purposes can be used anywhere (ie: clinic or a patient home), do not take up much space, and can be programmed to achieve the type of therapy desired. Additionally, difficulty level can be set by the therapist and increased gradually in subsequent sessions to reflect the patient’s progress and abilities.[2] Some people use these simulators as personal exercise machines to tone core muscles in an easy and low-impact manner.[3]

Products that attempt to accurately imitate the movement of a real horse and are sometimes used for therapeutic purposes as well as for developing equestrian skills or conditioning are the Equicizer, an American-developed mechanical product that resembles the body of a horse, imitates the movement of a race horse, and can be used at slower speeds for therapeutic and rehabilitation purposes.[4] Another product that resembles and moves like a real horse is the line of Racewood Equestrian Simulators, with 13 models to imitate actual movement of horses in various disciplines, including a simple walk and trot model.[5]

Simulators that do not resemble horses but imitate certain aspects of equine motion are popular in some Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea, in part because land for keeping actual horses is quite limited. One such commercial product is the Joba, created in Japan by rehabilitation doctor Testuhiko Kimura and the Matsushita Electric Industrial Company. The Joba does not resemble a horse, but rather just looks like a saddle, with plastic handle and stirrups, attached to a base that allows it to pitch and roll, exercising core muscles.[3] A similar product manufactured in the US is a stool-like device called the iGallop, which was commercially available in the mid 2000s and moves in a side-to-side and circular motion with various speed settings. However, it was criticized for not delivering the results claimed.[6]

There has been increased research regarding use of horseback riding simulators compared to conventional therapy methods. One 2011 study by Borges et al. compared children with cerebral palsy and postural issues who received conventional therapy to similar children who received therapy involving a riding simulator. The results from this study showed that children who received riding simulator therapy exhibited a statistically significant improvement regarding postural control in the sitting position, specifically regarding the maximal displacement in the mediolateral and anteroposterior directions. Parents of these children noted that their children executed activities of daily living that demanded greater mobility and postural control better than before.[2] In a 2014 study by Lee et. al, 26 children with cerebral palsy were divided into two groups: a hippotherapy group and a horseback riding simulator group. The children in each group underwent the same kind of therapy for the same amount of time using either a real horse or the simulator. Conventional physical therapy sessions were attended before each hippotherapy or horseback riding simulator session. It was found that both static and dynamic balance improved for the children in both groups following their 12-week-long programs and there was not a statistically significant difference between the results from the two groups. This indicates that using a horseback riding simulator can be as effective as hippotherapy for improving balance in children with cerebral palsy.[7]

Another area of research involves horseback riding simulation with stroke patients. Trunk balance and gait were assessed before and after the stroke patients were treated using a horseback riding simulator. Because stroke patients are not able to keep both feet on the floor and weight distributed equally between them, it is very easy for them to lose trunk muscle strength and control of the trunk on one or both sides. In a 2014 study, 20 non-traumatic, unilateral stroke patients underwent therapy using a horseback riding simulator. Their therapy included six 30-minute sessions a week for five weeks. The Trunk Impairment Scale (TIS) used to assess the patients before and after their therapy showed that they had better trunk control in a seated position following their sessions. Upon gait analysis, improvements in the areas of velocity, cadence, and stride length of the affected and non-affected sides were all observed. Additionally, the percentage of time spent in the double support phase was decreased. More research studies in which more subjects are tested for longer amounts of time are currently being investigated.[8]

equine rehabilitation centers

Meredith Manor International Equestrian Center

Dogs are common in animal-assisted therapy.

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is a type of therapy that involves animals as a form of treatment. The goal of AAT is to improve a patient's social, emotional, or cognitive functioning. Advocates state that animals can be useful for educational and motivational effectiveness for participants.[1] A therapist who brings along a pet may be viewed as being less threatening, increasing the rapport between patient and therapist.[2][medical citation needed] Animals used in therapy include domesticated pets, farm animals and marine mammals (such as dolphins). The research literature states concerns about the poor quality of medical evidence underpinning AAT.[3]

Wilson's (1984) biophilia hypothesis is based on the premise that our attachment to and interest in animals stems from the strong possibility that human survival was partly dependent on signals from animals in the environment indicating safety or threat. The biophilia hypothesis suggests that now, if we see animals at rest or in a peaceful state, this may signal to us safety, security and feelings of well-being which in turn may trigger a state where personal change and healing are possible.[4] A contrast is sometimes made with Animal assisted activity (AAA).[5] AAA is more casual and unstructured than AAT, involving perhaps more than one patient and with the primary focus on the presence of the animal itself. By contrast, AAT includes a handler which together with the animal has been trained for the role. AAT is more structured with specific objectives for each session. However, in common usage terms like these for animal assisted interventions are often used rather loosely.[5]

Animals can be used in a variety of settings such as prisons, nursing homes, mental institutions,[6] hospitals and in the home.[2][medical citation needed] Assistance dogs can assist people with many different disabilities; they are capable of assisting certain life activities and help the individuals navigate outside of the home.[2]

As with all other interventions, assessing whether a program is effective as far as its outcomes are concerned is easier when the goals are clear and are able to be specified. The literature review identified a range of goals for animal assisted therapy programs relevant to children and young people. They include enhanced capacity to form positive relationships with others i-relief in pet ownership.[7]

Pets may promote kindness in children.

Therapists rely on techniques such as monitoring a child's behavior with the animal, their tone of voice, and indirect interviewing. These techniques are used, along with the child's pet or other animal, in order to gain information.[8] Before pet therapy can be useful, the child and the animal must first develop a sense of comfort with each other, which is easier to achieve if the child's own pet is used.[8] The applied technique that generates the most helpful information about the victim's experience is telling the child that the animal wants to know how they are feeling or what happened. AAT can be used in children with mental health problems, it can be used as a stand a lone treatment or it can be used along with conventional methods.[9] Animals can be used as a distraction method when it comes to various situations, pain, and can also help bring in happiness, pleasure, and entertainments to the pediatric population. Animals can also help improve children's moods and reinforce positive behaviors while helping to decrease negative ones.[10]

Pets may provide an opportunity for fun and relaxation for people in institutions.[2]

Prison based animal-assistance programs involve an inmate working with a qualified handler to train an animal through a structured and goal-oriented program. The overall aim of using animal-assisted therapy in prisons is to relieve stress of the inmates and workers, enhance cognitive and behavioral capabilities, improve social skills, and to teach love, patience, and empathy in a realistic setting. Animal-assisted therapy is directly linked to increased physical and mental health benefits, induced relaxation, self-confidence, improved intrapersonal and interpersonal skills, and better environmental conditions. As of 2016 there are not many studies that examine animal-assistance programs at the prison level, especially in terms of long-terms effects, so the success rate cannot be accurately measured. However, effects from similar case studies such as rehabilitation programs or nursing homes can be evaluated and applied to the current state of the prison system in order to examine other alternatives to reform programs. If applied in prison settings results may show an increase in better environmental conditions and social support among staff and inmates by teaching them how to cope with hostile environments. It is likely the inmates will transfer the knowledge and skills learned in the correctional program to their transition outside of the institution, contributing to the larger society by generating productive members of society. Time in prison should be geared toward helping inmates build the life skills needed to push them down the right track, especially in the face of mental illness, loss, or addiction. The effect that animals have on a person's ability to understand love, empathy, and compassion are reasons to further explore animal-assisted therapy in correctional settings.[11]

Animal assisted therapy draws on the bond between animals and humans in order to help improve and maintain an individual's function and is being used to assist in the process of enhancing the individual's quality of life in nursing homes.[12][non-primary source needed] Psychologists and therapists notice increasing unfavorable behaviors of elderly people that are transferred to nursing homes. Once the patients become settled into their new environment, they lose their sense of self-efficacy and independence. Simple, everyday tasks are taken away from them and the patients become lethargic, depressed, and anti-social if they do not have regular visitors.[13]

When elderly people are transferred to nursing homes or LTC facilities, they often become passive, agitated, withdrawn, depressed, and inactive because of the lack of regular visitors or the loss of loved ones.[14] Supporters of AAT say that animals can be helpful in motivating the patients to be active mentally and physically, keeping their minds sharp and bodies healthy.[1] Therapists or visitors who bring animals into their sessions at the nursing home are often viewed as less threatening, which increases the relationship between the therapist/visitor and patient.[15]

There are numerous techniques used in AAT, depending on the needs and condition of the patient. For elderly dementia patients, hands on interactions with the animal are the most important aspect. Animal assisted therapy provides these patients with opportunities to have close physical contact with the animals warm bodies, feeling heartbeats, caress soft skins and coats, notice breathing, and giving hugs. Animal assisted therapy counselors also plan activities for patients that need physical movement. These planned tasks include petting the animal, walking the animal, and grooming the animal. These experiences seem so common and simple, but elderly dementia patients do not typically have these interactions with people because their loved ones have passed or no one comes to visit them. Their mind needs to be stimulated in the ways it once was. Animals provide a sense of meaning and belonging to these patients and offer something to look forward to during their long days.[13]

There are many types of AAT ranging from the use of dogs, to cats, even to small animals such as fish and hamsters. The most popular forms of AAT include canine therapy, dolphin therapy, and equine therapy.[16]

Dolphin assisted therapy refers to the practice of swimming with dolphins. Proponents claim for such encounters "extraordinary results of the therapy and breakthroughs in outcomes",[17][non-primary source needed] however this form of therapy has been strongly criticised as having no long term benefit,[18] and being based on flawed observations.[19] Psychologists have cautioned that dolphin assisted therapy is not effective for any known condition and presents considerable risks to both human patients and the captive dolphins.[20] Dolphin assisted therapy's agenda is to help people with autism, Down syndrome, and Cerebral Palsy with rehabilitation in motor function, speech, and language as well as to maintain and increase the client's attention span. The child has a one-on-one session with a therapist in a marine park of some kind.[21] An ethical issue with data on dolphin-assisted therapy and the effectiveness of it is that most of the research is done by people who operate the dolphin-assisted therapy programs.[21] Dolphin assisted therapy is an alternative medicine/therapy option for people who do not respond or are not keen on traditional medicines/therapies and it is a controversial therapy. John Lilly, who studied dolphin-human interaction, first considered this idea that interactions with dolphins can have rewarding benefits on humans in the 1960s. David Nathanson, who was a clinical psychologist, came up with much of the existing research on this therapy today. Nathanson's theory was that children with disabilities would increase their attention to related stimuli in the environment in hopes they would get to interact with the dolphins, helping motivate the child to do the task at hand and to give the appropriate responses according to that child's therapy program lessons.[21]

Hippotherapy is promoted as a treatment for people with physical or mental challenges.

A distinction exists between hippotherapy and therapeutic horseback riding. The American Hippotherapy Association defines hippotherapy as a physical, occupational, and speech-language therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement as part of an integrated intervention program to achieve functional outcomes, while the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATHI) defines therapeutic riding as a riding lesson specially adapted for people with special needs.[22] According to Marty Becker, hippotherapy programs are active "in twenty-four countries and the horse's functions have expanded to therapeutic riding for people with physical, psychological, cognitive, social, and behavioral problems".[23] Hippotherapy has also been approved by the American Speech and Hearing Association as a treatment method for individuals with speech disorders.[22] In addition, equine assisted psychotherapy (EAP) uses horses for work with persons who have mental health issues. EAP often does not involve riding.[24][25] Additional information pertaining to equine assisted therapy can be seen with Laira Gold's open clinical study of EAT.[26]

The lack of studies done on Animal-assisted therapy has led to large controversy in whether it is effective or not. With such diversity in AAT there are many scholarly articles that are positive and negative. The effectiveness can not be determinant with out talking to a physiologist.[27] There has been criticism as to the effectiveness of AAT. According to Lilienfeld and Arkowitz animal-assisted therapy is better considered a temporary fix. They point to the lack of longitudinal data or research to see if there is evidence for long term improvement in patients undergoing the therapy. They then suggest that this further supports the idea that AAT is more of an affective method of therapy rather than a behavioral treatment. They also state the dangers of these therapy programs in particular the Dolphin assisted therapy. Dolphin assisted therapy has not been shown to have significant results when dealing with a child's behavior. Instead Lilienfeld suggest that again animal assisted therapy might be a short term reinforce, not a long term one. They also suggest that studies dealing with children should look into more balanced measures, such as having one group of children in the Dolphin group and the other in a setting where they still receive positive reinforcement. It is also suggested that DAT is harmful to the dolphins themselves; by taking dolphins out of their natural environment and putting them in captivity for therapy can be hazardous to their well being.[28] There are not many quantitative studies about the effect of swimming with dolphins have on social behavior.[29] Of the few studies, data has seemed limited or mixed in results. The first research on the effects of Dolphin-Assisted Therapy as a treatment was a case study by Betsy Smith in 1987. The dolphins were used to motivate a child with autism to communicate.[29] Smith concluded that the use of Dolphin-Assisted Therapy has shown promising results on increasing attention spans and improved interaction and play behavior in the children. Other studies after concerning Dolphin Assisted Therapy yielded about the same results but failed to take into account other situational factors, what is also known as a confound, one or more effective ingredient in a study[30] that may affect results in the study.

Another limitation of pet therapy also centers on the application during scenarios that involve adults who have been sexually assaulted. While pets do tend to cause more comfort to victims, pet therapy may not be the catalyst that provides positive success in therapy sessions. As mentioned above, adults tend not to focus as much on having an animal companion, and therefore, pet therapy cannot be attributed as the reason for success in those types of therapy sessions.[8] Pet therapy does not raise any ethical concerns as far as advancing nonscientific agendas. On the other hand, there are some ethical concerns that arise when applying pet therapy to younger victims of sexual assault. For example, if a child is introduced to an animal that is not their pet, the application of pet therapy can cause some concerns. First of all, some children may not be comfortable with animals or may be frightened, so there would be ethical concerns with using pet therapy, which could be avoided by asking permission to use animals in therapy. Second, a special bond is created between animal and child during pet therapy. Therefore, if the animal in question does not belong to the child, there may be some negative side effects when the child discontinues therapy. The child will have become attached to the animal, which does raise some ethical issues as far as subjecting a child to the disappointment and possible relapse that can occur after therapy discontinues.[8]

The AAT program encourages expressions of emotions and cognitive stimulation through discussions and reminiscing of memories while the patient bonds with the animal. Many of the troubling symptoms in elderly dementia patients include decreased physical functioning, apathy, depression, loneliness, and disturbing behaviors.[13]

In 2014 a study was unable to find evidence to make any recommendations for the use of AAT to alleviate agitation in older people with dementia; only three studies had been done to that date, with mixed results.[31]

A study in 2017 evaluated results from ten research articles and found that animal assisted therapies (particularly using dogs) resulted in measurable quality of life improvements.[32]

Animal-assisted therapy sprouted from the idea and initial belief in the supernatural powers of animals and animal spirits. It first appeared in the groupings of early hunter gatherer societies.[citation needed] In modern times animals are seen as "agents of socialization" and as providers of "social support and relaxation".[33] Though animal assisted therapy is believed to have begun in these early human periods it is undocumented and based on speculation. The earliest reported use of AAT for the mentally ill took place in the late 18th century at the York Retreat in England, led by William Tuke.[34] Patients at this facility were allowed to wander the grounds which contained a population of small domestic animals. These were believed to be effective tools for socialization. In 1860, the Bethlem Hospital in England followed the same trend and added animals to the ward, greatly influencing the morale of the patients living there.[34]

Sigmund Freud kept many dogs and often had his chow Jofi present during his pioneering sessions of psychoanalysis. He noticed that the presence of the dog was helpful because the patient would find that their speech would not shock or disturb the dog and this reassured them and so encouraged them to relax and confide. This was most effective when the patient was a child or adolescent.[35] The theory behind AAT is what is known as Attachment theory.

Therapy involving animals was used in therapy by Dr. Boris Levinson who accidentally discovered the use of pet therapy with children when he left his dog alone with a difficult child, and upon returning, found the child talking to the dog.[8] However, in other pieces of literature it states that it was founded as early as 1792 at the Quaker Society of Friends York Retreat in England.[36] Velde, Cipriani & Fisher also state "Florence Nightingale appreciated the benefits of pets in the treatment of individuals with illness. The US military promoted the use of dogs as a therapeutic intervention with psychiatric patients in 1919 at St Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, DC. Increased recognition of the value of human–pet bonding was noted by Dr. Boris Levinson in 1961".[36]

autism and horses

Colorado equine therapy for veterans with ptsd