Originally designed to help those with physical disabilities, equine assisted therapy has been found to offer a means for addicts to tap into deep-rooted emotions to help improve social and relational interactions with others.
Equine assisted therapy is not a horseback riding program. Rather, it is a series of activities that are designed to help you develop verbal and nonverbal communication skills, trust, initiative, and confidence. Horses mirror our emotions; they also provide immediate feedback. For example, the way you approach a horse, your body language and attitude, will be “read” by the animal, which will respond without hiding its true emotions, as a human might. This unadulterated response will allow you, with your therapist’s help, to recognize how your interactions with others and ways of being in the world may be maladaptive, undermining your ability to reach your goals. Working with horses will help you understand how your emotions affect others. It can also help you reconnect with a wide range of feelings, including joy.