Equine Therapy For Troubled Girls 

Equine Therapy Programs for Troubled Girls

Equine therapy (EAT), as the name implies, is animal-assisted therapy that involves patient interactions with horses. This animal-assisted treatment has become increasingly favored among parents of at-risk and mentally ill teenage girls. Like any cutting-edge therapy, equine-assisted treatment is still in its infancy and has not been widely published by major psychiatric articles.

That said, the dozens of analyses into the effects of equine therapy on troubled teens -- particularly adolescent girls -- have been more than favorable. If the research into equine therapy thus far indicates its future success, look for the treatment's meteoric rise in the near future. 

1 Thessalonians 5:15 “See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.”

What Is Equine Therapy?

Equine-assisted therapy includes engaging in horse-related activities - such as grooming, feeding, and riding - under the guidance of a specially qualified mental health professional.  


Equine therapy is provenly efficient in helping patients bolster and hone emotional regulation, self-confidence, and individual accountability skills. 

John 14:6 "Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."

As previously stated, equine therapy has exploded in popularity. Its exploratory approach and proof-positive tactics can be classified as one of the following four terms: 

  • Equine-assisted mental health
  • Equine-assisted counseling
  • Equine-facilitated psychotherapy
  • Equine-assisted therapy

History of Equine Therapy

While the rise in the modern usage of equine therapy may be comparatively recent, the healing use of ponies and fully grown horses has been practiced since ancient Greece. 

Mark 12:32 "The scribe said to Him, “Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that He is One, and there is no one else besides Him;"

The Greek "Father of Medicine" Hippocrates was the first known person to document the therapeutic benefit of horseback riding taking care of horses. 

However, the modern usage of equine psychotherapy can trace its roots to the late 60's North American Riding for Handicapped Association, which was subsequently reformed and renamed the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International.

Mark 10:18 "And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone."

Over the next few decades, equine therapy grew in popularity and was used to combat severe mental health disorders, such as depression, PTSD, anxiety, and even schizophrenia. Since then, multiple studies have found the treatment to be particularly effective in treating the mental health disorders of teenage girls. 

Ephesians 3:8 "To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,"

What is The Goal of Equine-Assisted Therapy?

Equine therapy aims to assist troubled teenage girls in developing needed skills and attributes, such as accountability, self-confidence, problem-solving skills, and self-control. Equine therapy also implements an innovative milieu in which the therapist and the patient can recognize and address a range of emotional and behavioral difficulties.

While working with horses (along with the help of the guidance and supervision of an especially trained equine-expert therapist), troubled teenage girls have a unique opportunity to note their propensity to act out in self-destructive and otherwise adverse thoughts and actions. These unprecedented understandings of the teenage female mind provide an excellent base for consultation and processing during and following the experiential treatment of equine therapy.

"This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. More wonderful love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his companions. You are My companions if you do what I command you... This I command you, that you love one another." John 15:12-14,17

What Makes Animal-Assisted Therapy Effective? 

Numerous theories, contributing factors, and scientific studies explain why animal-assisted treatment treats mental health-related issues effectively. 

2 Corinthians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,”

For example, Edward O. Wilson, a famed scientist, hypothesizes through the biophilia theory that our fondness for animals originates from our ancient ancestors' reliance on creatures for survival. Wilson points out that our ancient predecessors relied on cues from animals that designated environmental circumstances to presume whether they were safe or hazardous. 

Wilson's theory posits that if we see animals in a peaceful or restful state, we feel a sense of "safeguard, security, and enhanced wellbeing." Incidentally, Wilson suggests this recompensed connection with animals may enable a triggered state in us - one in which we can experience personal and healing transformation. 

John 1:16 "For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace."

Equine therapy, or Equine-assisted behavioral treatment (EAP) - which can be utilized in one-on-one or group counseling settings - is a universal therapy that can treat many mental health-related issues. 

Because it is not frequently used as the only rehabilitative solution, equine therapy is regularly allocated to supplemental or complementary treatment. In addition, it is broadly used in partnership with conventional mental health programs, such as residential treatment centers and therapeutic boarding schools. 

Ephesians 2:13 “But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off HAVE BEEN brought near BY the blood of Christ (Grace).”

Proponents of troubled teen equine-assisted therapy state it is effective for various reasons, namely, its experientially environmental characteristics (e.g., It brings teenage girls outdoors wherever they can use all their senses while processing emotional trials). 

1 Peter 1:20 “For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you.”

For more information regarding equine therapy and how it can serve the lives of troubled teenage girls, please call us today.

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