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Equine Therapy

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equine therapy program for people recovering from addiction

Horses and humans have had a special relationship throughout history. Horses bond powerfully with people, mirror their emotions, and are tremendously trusting and loyal. Think about it, horses are huge animals, but they consent to have humans, a mere fraction of their size, sit astride their backs, asking them to run and even jump over things, go into war, pull heavy plows, wagons, and anything else they are asked to do. Horses have been used in therapeutic settings since ancient Greece, when Hippocrates himself noted the benefits of equine therapy. This therapy model was introduced a little over 60 years ago in the U.S. and is used for people with disabilities, including cerebral palsy, the developmentally disabled, and in mental health and addiction therapy programs.

Mile High Recovery in Denver, CO, has an equine therapy program to support clients in rehab. The benefits of this treatment are many, even for those who have no experience with horses. To learn more about our equine therapy program in Colorado, the magic of horses, and the efficacy of equine therapy as part of your recovery, reach out today. We can be reached at 855.796.2102 or via online form.

The Benefits of an Equine Therapy Program

Working with horses helps clients build needed skills that help them navigate their mental health and addiction challenges, including:

  • Emotional awareness
  • Social skills
  • Impulse control
  • Empathy and trust
  • Confidence
  • Problem-solving
  • Distress tolerance
  • Independence
  • Self-esteem

The horse is great in size yet offers an impressive level of animal compassion. There is a profound sense of achievement when a rider gets this large animal to participate and follow directions from the saddle. Because horses mirror not only our emotions but also our actions, riders learn self-awareness and self-control. There is a mindfulness component to caring for and riding horses because a horse can sense your loss of focus. Though you may want him to go left, he knows you are distracted, so he does what he wants, even if it means going right or standing still to eat grass. Simply getting into the flow of human-horse communication is a profoundly centering activity that gives a sense of communion with the animal as well as a great accomplishment.

What Can Equine Therapy Treat?

Equine therapy is a trauma-informed and evidence-based treatment that works for addiction, psychiatric disorders, and dual diagnoses. During therapy, you work with specially trained therapy horses and learn to care for them, including grooming and tacking them up (getting their saddles and bridles on). Taking care of horses requires concentration, compassion, and selflessness. When you work with a horse, you must be in tune with it, which builds trust in the relationship. When you sit in the saddle, you will begin to experience the communication and bond that develops between rider and horse.

This treatment is effective for individuals, couples, and families to treat many behavioral health disorders and conditions, including:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • ADHD
  • PTSD
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Substance use disorders
  • Grief

Mile High Recovery Equine Therapy Program in Colorado

Mile High Recovery in Denver offers a range of evidence-based treatments for mental health and substance use disorders, including:

  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • Motivational enhancement therapy (MET)
  • Relapse prevention
  • Dual diagnosis
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy

Equine therapy is a valuable component of an addiction therapy program. If you want to find confidence, become centered, access your compassion, develop communications skills, establish trust, and experience all that a horse can teach you during your recovery and mental health journey, find out more about our equine therapy program in Denver.

Our experienced staff members can answer all your questions about equine therapy and any other aspect of our addiction and mental health treatment programs. Dial 855.796.2102 today, or fill out our online form.