What is Equine Therapy? How can it help?
There is a special relationship that develops between horses and humans and many people find it easier to open up to a horse than to other people. The special bond that develops, within the container developed by the therapist, allows children and adolescence to develop a relationship with themselves and a greater understanding for others.
Through this special relationship, children learn how to ask for what they need, listen, take care of themselves and others, develop empathy, expand social skills, build self-confidence and trust.
Equine therapy is not about riding a horse. Riding is not necessarily part of the work. The therapeutic work usually happens on the ground, in the stalls, field or pen; while we work on boundaries, communication skills, and trust through joining, roundpinning, herd work, etc.
What does a session look like?
Generally, each session consists of 40-minutes outside with the horse(s). Please come prepared for the weather with appropriate clothing (jacket, hat, boots, gloves, etc.) and sun protection. If the weather is too cold or snowy, our session may be cancelled for that week. Boots or sturdy footwear is recommened.
Each session is followed by a 10-15 minute check-in with parents, either in person or by phone. During this time we will discuss what your child worked on in his/her session and how things are going at home and school. I will provide tools and strategies for supporting your child’s process and helping him be his very best self. I welcome parents’ questions and celebrate parental involvement in the therapeutic process. I strive to foster a collaborative approach to your child’s health and well-being throughout this process.
Please bring an activity for you child to do in the car while we talk, a snack and water may also be helpful as working with the horses is usually active.
Contact Heal Through Play in Boulder, Colorado, to work with play therapy counselors with 15 years of experience working with children and parents.