Menu Close

Ask Us About The

Path to Healing from Addiction

Contact us today to learn more about how you can begin your addiction healing journey

Benefits of Equine Therapy for Addiction Recovery

young man putting halter on horse as experiences the benefits of equine therapy for addiction recovery

Equine therapy has many benefits, especially as it relates to addiction recovery. Learning how to care for another creature as part of a therapeutic experience can be highly beneficial and aid in helping focus on the individual’s own recovery goals. Building compassion and empathy are vital components of the recovery process, regardless of the therapeutic modality. Equine therapy first came into practice in this country in the 1960s. It was used to aid patients with physical disabilities and soon started being integrated into other therapeutic programs, like addiction recovery.

To learn more about equine therapy and how it aids in recovering from a substance use disorder, contact 7 Summit Pathways today.

What Is Equine Therapy?

Equine therapy is an experiential therapy that uses horses as a therapeutic aid. It is a type of animal-assisted therapy that can be found as part of many holistic treatment programs. Through activities and exercises working with horses, patients in an equine therapy program have an outlet to reduce stress and find more calm and relaxation in their lives after addiction. The horses are trained specifically to work with patients in this capacity. Caring for another creature promotes empathy, compassion, and self-confidence. This aids in building more robust and more meaningful relationships with humans in their lives as well. Feeding, grooming, and leading the horse are part of the responsibilities.

Equine therapy can help improve social skills, awareness of emotions, self-confidence, self-control, trust, problem-solving, and more. A treatment team will guide the patient through the expectations, activities, and goals. This type of therapy is an excellent complement to other experiential and traditional therapies. You might be wondering why horses versus other animals. Horses are known as sensitive and emotional animals, and they respond differently depending on the person working with them and how emotive they are. Therapists will demonstrate this by approaching a horse in a negative way and then in a calming and positive way so that people can immediately see the effect on the animal.

Benefits of Equine Therapy

This therapeutic modality is all about improving self-confidence, building strong relationships, and having an outlet to manage stress and triggers. It can also be a catalyst for improved socialization and communication, allowing those in therapy to open up more in therapy sessions. All of this allows patients at 7 Summit Pathways to get the most out of their treatment experience.

The benefits of equine therapy include:

  • Building trust
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Less dwelling on the negatives in life
  • Improved self-confidence
  • The ability to better control impulses
  • Developing problem-solving skills
  • Learning effective verbal and non-verbal communication skills
  • Knowing what healthy boundaries look like
  • The importance of caring for others and yourself

Schedule a Tour of 7 Summit Pathways’ Equine Therapy Program

It is well known that animals provide great comfort, companionship, and emotional support to humans, among other benefits. It’s why so many American households have pets. Therapy animals are also becoming more common and widely accepted. While not a house pet, horses can be a great aid in treating substance use and mental health disorders through equine therapy.

Depression and anxiety are common side effects of addiction or can be co-occurring disorders. Equine therapy can be part of a holistic approach to treatment to help reduce symptoms brought on by mental health concerns, heighten awareness of emotions that may be triggering, help to be more social, and build strong relationships in life going forward.

Additional experiential therapies include:

  • Massage
  • Meditation
  • Yoga

Call 7 Summit Pathways today at 813.212.7149 or reach out online to learn more about the benefits of equine therapy. Outdoor therapy sessions occur in a group setting on our family-style campus in Tampa, Florida.