Equestrian therapy (also known as equine therapy or equine-assisted therapy) is a form of therapy that utilizes horses to help promote emotional growth. This type of therapy is particularly applied to patients with ADD, anxiety, autism, dementia, delay in mental development, down syndrome and other genetic syndromes, depression, trauma and brain injuries, behavior and abuse issues and other mental health issues or disabilities.
Riders with disabilities have proven their remarkable equestrian skills in various national and international competitions, which is why equestrian therapy has been recognized and identified as an important area in the medical field.
Equestrian or equine therapy is also an effective technique many therapists use to teach troubled youth and their parents/guardians on how they learn, react and follow instructions. The students were asked to get the horse to move outside of a circle, without even touching it. Students tried to clap, yell and whistle but the horse didn’t heed the signal. In the same manner, parents, friends and others who are part of a troubled youth’s therapy program learn that these same actions would not be the best way to make the person listen and comply.