Why the horse?
Horses are prey animals. Meaning they are hunted as food for other animals. Because of this fact, horses must look for incongruence in their environment to stay alive. For example, a wolf is laying in the tall grass near where a horse is grazing. It appears to be sleeping, but actually it is planning how it can pounce on the horse. Survival instinct within the horse allows the horse the ability to decipher the true intention of the wolf. This instinct keeps the horse safe from harm. Likewise, horses can identify when humans are incongruent. Meaning we present our self to the horse as happy and all put together, but inside we are a hot mess. The horse knows what is going on in our heart. He must for his own survival. This fact is the sole basis for equine-assisted therapy. The horse becomes the therapist. They are the only beings that truly know what is going on in the inside of a person. Horses cannot lie. To keep themselves safe from harm they react to every circumstance honestly and effectively. Horses are also social creatures and mimic human behaviors. We can learn a lot about human dynamics by watching how horses react in their herd (their family). Horses are beautiful and majestic creatures who have an enormous ability to teach us about ourselves and our community.
“Fear is one of the most ancient emotional energies shared by horses and humans.”
-Linda Kohanov, The Tao of Equus.
Equine Assisted Learning
A form of experiential therapy that involves interactions between clients and horses.
Equine Mentorship Program
An equine mentorship program incorporates methods and techniques derived from equine-assisted learning (EAL) and equine-assisted therapy (EAT). In each of these methodologies, a partnership is formed between the client (child) and the equine (horse). This partnership is paramount and has been proven to facilitate change and growth in the life of the child which ultimately facilitates learning and healing.
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
Equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP) is an experiential learning modality involving a mental health professional, an equine specialist, and a therapy horse. This team approach is highly successful in promoting growth and healing in the client.
In the EAP modality, the horse becomes the therapist and the facilitators are observing the interactions between client and horse. The horse most commonly can be utilized as a metaphor by representing something in the client's life. The relationship that begins to develop between horse and client is the basis for growth and healing. The facilitators are present to ensure safety as well as observe the language/feedback occurring between horse and client. Horses by nature cannot lie. It is up to the equine specialist and the mental health professional to recognize and interpret what is happening between the client and the horse. At the end of each session, the facilitators will discuss the session with the client in efforts to extrapolate the experience and relate it to everyday life.
Unbridled Hope INC networks with local mental health professionals (counselors, therapists, social workers) to provide this unique and effective form of therapy. If you would more information regarding this program please contact us.
We have sessions open now.
Our stables are open by appointment only. Monday through Friday.
Saturday and Sundays are often available.