Benefits of Therapeutic Horsemanship
How Do Horses Have a Therapeutic Benefit?
Clients can relate to horses in a way they might not be able to do with people in their lives. As they identify with the horses they often become more open to learning and communication.
Clients can model the positive behavior they see in the instructors and volunteers who work with them. As they are exposed to the components of a healthy relationship (trust, dependability, responsibility, empathy, awareness of boundaries, discipline, patience, respect) they will often begin to demonstrate these qualities in their relationships and interactions with others.
The movement of the horse (at the walk) mimics the movement of a person's hips as they walk and this can be very effective for clients who have physical disabilities, range of motion and mobility problems.
Clients are often more open to accepting the "feedback" from the horse than they are from others in their life (parents, guardians, therapists) and can make appropriate adjustments to their reactions, decisions, etc. to help them make positive changes and growth.