Building relationships of trust and respect..
The central aim of equine therapy is to help our students create healthy relationships based on mutual trust and respect. Many times, the lack of understanding of the importance of “trust” and “respect” is the teen’s core issue.
Therefore, “trust” and “respect” becomes the focal point of the therapeutic goal.
The building blocks of such a relationship, in part, are based on the fact that the horse will never engage in high risk behavior and relies on the protection of the herd.
The herd has rules that keep all of its members safe. This truth is critical to recovery, metaphorically suggesting students associate with “safe” peers and to avoid high risk behavior.
Working with horses encourages students to seek and use new solutions, a skill directly related to the recovery process. The responsibility of having to care for a horse teaches students how to engage in healthy self-care which is critical for individuals struggling with substance abuse and addiction.
Moreover, working with a horse helps the student understand the need for limits and boundaries in order for them to become productive adults.
Natural Horsemanship for Therapeutic Intervention is based on the premise that horses provide an “in the moment” therapeutic experience that promotes emotional growth and healing.
The horses provide an excellent way for the therapists to provide feedback to the students. When boys have issues of trust regarding adults (including therapists and counselors), the horses serve as a bridge to allow the therapeutic process to proceed.
Our therapists use the fruitful experience between the troubled boy and his horse to teach lessons on ways in which the horse parallels the life of the boy himself. Therapeutic Natural Horsemanship has shown to have many positive benefits including: