ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

what is equine assisted psychotherapy?

Updated on December 28, 2009

Everyone has issues.

If you have ever tried traditional talk therapy you know it takes time, strength and more time to get to the real issues in your life. Hundreds of treatment facilities across the country use this modality knowing how the results speak for themselves. It is experiential in nature which means you use ALL of your senses to learn. Thus when you see or here the metaphor that evolved during your activity with the horses the information sticks with you. You then can go out into life and use this information to have a more peaceful, happy life.

So how does this all work? Well horses are highly intuitive to energy. What does this mean? It means if you say you are ok, not mad yet inside your are very angry, you are incongruent. To a horse that means your NOT safe. They prefer not to work with you. They are in the moment, hold no grudges and immediately settle their differences. They do not understand this type of energy. They show me, the horse professional, this discomfort by numerous little movements. I interpret this to the licensed therapist that is my treatment team partner and we then help the client see this.

How does this help in their recovery, growth? If you don't know what you are feeling, if you don't know when you are incongruent, if you don't know that you are acting out on those that you love then this is invaluable.

The other thing we focus a lot on is getting into the true feelings of the person. Lots of folks have one particular feeling that scares them. Some think if they go into their grief they will go so far down into the pits they may never return. People with anger and rage who don't visit those feelings store them until they explode and have a negative impact on all those around them. The horses can show you what acceptance looks like when going to those particular feelings and when you are there. They immediately will become engaged with you, want to share space with you and will literally stand with you while you process and experience this feeling in a comfortable and safe environment.

We also work with boundaries in almost every exercise/activity that we plan. People who can not set and keep boundaries feel resentful, taken for granted and put upon. A horse in it's world sets boundaries so often you may not even see them doing so. When doing an activity with a horse if you cross a boundary there will be a slight ever so noticeable warning. As the horse professional I then let the therapist know this information. Addicts have the worst boundaries for themselves and with others. Codependents tend to say yes to everything, have no clear boundaries and then regret the fact that they can't say no later on.

Horses will let you know if you are congruent, if you have good boundaries, if you have high or low self esteem and if you are comfortable to be around. By doing specific activities that we choose, you will learn if you are focused on goals or on your relationships. If you have a particular pattern that does not work in your life. You will see metaphors that mirror your life and those reveal both the positive and negative lessons to be learned.

While working with the treatment team the horse or horses will mirror you in many ways. If you are depressed with low energy the horse will pick up on this. We have had horses lie down in the middle of activities with severely depressed clients who didn't even believe they were depressed. See this is an eye opening experience for clients.

Clients who have anxiety or stress really see what that looks like in the form of a horse. The horse will have a hard time "holding" that energy and will act out in many forms. We wonder why our children act up when we are in the worst moods. They too are energy feeling beings and just display that with no thought or intent.

You can learn to modulate your feelings so that life can begin to get easier. How would your personal and work relationships better by being more serene and even keeled? I don't know many who would not see an improvement in those areas if they had this tool.

If you have questions or would like to educate yourself on how Equine Assisted Psychotherapy may be beneficial and expedite your personal growth please don't hesitate to ask. I hope this information was helpful and you seek out a EAGALA certified team to do your emotional work with. Do not do this type of work with anyone who is not internationally certified threw EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association). They have ethics and training that surpasses anything that is in existence today.

Good luck in your healing. Kirstin Mason (horse professional) Meaningful Solutions.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Resolver2009 profile image


      10 years ago from Bournemouth, UK / Oslo, Norway

      A truly fascinating read Karmi! Makes perfect sense. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, I find psychotherapy incredibly interesting.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)