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Can Horses Help Treat Anxiety?

can horses help treat anxiety

Equine therapy, or therapy that incorporates the care and companionship of horses, is becoming increasingly popular to treat mental health issues and addiction. While it has long been understood that spending time with animals and pets can positively affect our mood, new research suggests that horses may have a sixth sense that can identify anxiety, stress, and fear in humans, thus helping individuals identify these emotions in themselves. Some people may be skeptical of the effectiveness of equine-assisted therapy at first. Still, given a chance, horses may be able to help you work through underlying mental health issues that are holding you back from health and recovery. If you’re wondering, “Can horse help treat anxiety?” reach out to The Arbor Behavioral Healthcare to learn more and discover a therapy that may be right for you.

Can Horses Help Treat Anxiety?

One study conducted in Sweden confirmed that horses sense the anxiety of their riders and experience an increased heart rate at the same time as their human companions. This may be why it is said that horses can sense fear when a new human is attempting to handle them. Because of this amazing ability, horses can help us to understand what is going on beneath the surface in our minds. We may appear outwardly calm, but if we struggle internally with anxiety and unaddressed trauma, a horse will respond by resisting interaction and connection with us. When combined with other forms of counseling and recovery techniques, equine therapy can gauge our progress as we begin to heal from our past and calm our minds. Once we achieve a sense of wellbeing, horses will respond accordingly, allowing us to engage with them by caring for them and riding them. Horses are beautiful and sensitive creatures, and their trust and companionship are privileges we must earn by first practicing self-care. If you are experiencing addiction and the severe anxiety that often accompanies the disease, equine therapy may be a profoundly beneficial experience for you to incorporate into your recovery.

What Is Equine Therapy

A lot of addiction sufferers have in common is they have lost their priorities. They have lost their connection to anything more than the misery of their addiction. Equine therapy is proving to be very effective for several reasons to bring them back to reality and a better sense of belonging.

First, it gives the client a chance to get outside and enjoy nature and the great outdoors. Second, the client gets the opportunity to reach out and care for another being, that being a majestic horse.

As a participant in an equine therapy program, the client gets the chance to care for the horse. They groom them, feed them, exercise them, and ride them. This process aims to show the client they have good inside of them. They can connect to other beings. The hope is the process will give the client enough purpose to fight for recovery. Here at The Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, we offer equine-assisted therapy as one of several therapeutic approaches that include:

  • 12-Step Immersion
  • Dual Diagnosis
  • EMDR Therapy
  • Family Support Groups
  • Nutrition Therapy

Reach Out to The Arbor Behavioral Healthcare to Learn More About Equine Therapy for Anxiety

At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms. The Arbor uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor, you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan. We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 844.413.2690.