Can grooming and riding horses foster recovery from mental illness? According to a recent article published in the Psychiatric Times, the answer is “yes.”
Learning a new skill—horsemanship—enhances patients’ confidence in their ability to tackle new projects, and leads to improved self-esteem.
Psynergy's Equine Therapy program combines the proven science of using horses to facilitate therapy with the world’s oldest and most intuitive breed of horse – the Arabian. At Psynergy, we are committed to incorporate the best research and most effective methods of Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP). Observational findings from top medical professionals indicate the benefits of equine therapy include increased confidence, self-efficacy, improved communication, restoration of trust, anxiety reduction, decreased isolation, impulse modulation, amended social skills, boundaries, and more.
A positive relationship with a horse is often a first, safe step toward practicing the social skills needed build relationships with people. Healing takes place as patients discover that riding occurs within the context of a respectful relationship between a rider and a horse.
The bottom line? With a long background in Arabian horses, Psynergy Programs is wholly committed to incorporate the most effective methods of EFP, using the long-established relationship between the horse and mankind to improve the lives of the individuals we serve.
Learn more about this subject in an article reviewing the benefits of animal-assisted therapy in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association.
Emily, a Psynergy client, talks about the Equine Program
“I used to be quite the rambunctious one when I first got here - you know, wrestling with people, running around antagonizing people. And then I got into Equine and started going twice a week, and it was really helpful to me. When we first go there we have a small discussion about what we’re working on and what our goal is and how being with the horses is going to help us. We groom the horses - we brush them, clean their feet, and then you choose if you want to ride or walk the horse. On my first day with a little bit of hesitation I was able to ride the horse and face my fear. Which was awesome!
It’s been very beneficial because when I first got here there were so many things I needed to improve on. One of them was trust. Once I started going to Equine I started trusting staff and learning how to communicate. I realized that when I am with animals I am very self-confident in what I do and I don’t ever second-guess myself. And I realized that if I practice what I practice with the horses maybe I can apply that here. So I’ve become very self-confident here as well. Eventually I just started improving because working with animals is a very therapeutic experience for me. It’s helped me achieve and grow. Now that I am more stable people are always telling me: ‘You’ve come a long way, you’ve done amazing things, keep it up!’”