Animals have long been used for both physical and mental therapy. In this form of therapy, a horse trainer is always present and the clients are not actually required to ride the horse or even touch it if they don’t want to.
With the guidance of a professional therapist, horse therapy can help people gain an insight into their own behaviour. The therapist sets up a series of challenges that require the individual to explore their own fears and cognitive processes. Horses in particular are ideal for this type of therapy as they can mirror behaviour and they also have their own unique personality traits such as stubbornness and the need for companionship.
Equine-assisted therapy can be useful for developing skills in leadership, assertiveness, confidence, teamwork and creative problem-solving.