Equine Personal Development

At HORSES AND HUMANS, we believe that there is something very special about the relationship between a Horse and a Human that can be fundamental to helping a human find happiness, wellbeing and improve cognitive and emotional development.

So why horses and not other animals?

 . HORSES ARE SOCIAL ANIMALS, AND HAVE DEFINED ROLES WITHIN THE HERD

. HORSES HAVE DISTINCT PERSONALITIES, ATTITUDES AND MOODS

. HORSES CAN BE STUBBORN AND DEFIANT OR PLAYFUL AND COOPERATIVE

. HORSES ARE LARGE AND POWERFUL AND CAN INSPIRE FEAR

. HORSES LIKE TO PLAY

. THEY ARE CURIOUS AND VERY OBSERVANT

. SO THEY ARE VERY MUCH LIKE US

How Partnering with Horses can Help or WHAT IS EQUINE ASSISTED PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT?

  • HORSES AND HUMANS use the horse’s extraordinary ability to connect with people of all ages to facilitate change – Breaking through barriers & developing
  • Confidence
  • Self Esteem
  • Positive Attitude
  • Teamwork and
  • A Way Forward

Equine assisted therapy has been shown to increase self-esteem, improve self-efficacy and lower anxiety

EQUINE ASSISTED PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT therapies are recognised and well documented with evidence-based research as a powerful adjunct for mental health therapy that can incorporate and be delivered in a range of modalities.

The Globally recognised  Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Program (EAGALA) is one of these. In it, the primary focus is around the responses the horse offers and how its interaction with the person is perceived. It gives the person the opportunity to experience a wide range of emotions and feelings in an unconditional and non-judgemental way.

As they interact, the horse responds immediately to non-verbal cues and provides instant, honest and observable feedback as he/she guides us on a restorative journey, bringing insight into group dynamics as well as to the individual roles we play with family, friends and community.

Through EAPD people learn about themselves, about boundaries, and respect for self and others by finding their own solutions and are better equipped and empowered to manage relationships, situations, communication challenges, behavioural issues, substance abuse, eating disorders, abuse issues, depression, anxiety, bullying behaviours, PTSD, as some of the many stresses and challenges that come our way.

Source: Horses And Humans

Source: (Marx & Cumella, 2003Marx, R. D. andCumella, E. J. 2003.

  • Equine-Assisted Therapy is a creative way of helping humans to learn and grow, while also teaching them about horses and getting them to try new things. It is also a very flexible form of treatment that can be adapted to benefit each individual.
  • Equine-Assisted Therapy has proven to be a very positive, effective form of treatment. Klontz, Bivens, Leinart, & Klontz created a quantitative study to measure the effectiveness of Equine-Assisted Therapy (2007).
  • Research has found that after the therapy was completed, participants experienced an increase in psychological well-being and a decrease in overall levels of distress. Six months after the treatment, participants still had stable levels of distress and psychological well-being.
  • The study found that in groups of diverse people with differing distress and self-actualization score, the treatment significantly reduced stress and improved psychological well-being.

.Source: Summer 8-1-2013 Equine-Assisted Therapy and Mindfulness: A Potential Correlation Erin Caskey

A Research Item

Why horsing around is good for you: Spending time around stables proven to reduce stress

  • Children who ride have lower levels of stress hormones in their bodies
  • High levels of the stress hormone cortisol can cause health problems

Horsing around can make teenagers less stressed out, new research has revealed.

A study found that children who spend time with horses or riding have lower levels of stress hormones, according to measurements taken from their saliva.

Researchers looked at 130 teenagers taking part in an after-school horsemanship course that lasted 12 weeks.

They spent 90 minutes a week learning about horses: how to care for, groom, handle and ride the animals.

Each teenager gave six samples of saliva over a two day period before and after the 12-week program.

Researchers analysed the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the samples.

The results, published in the American Psychological Association’s Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin, revealed that children who spent time with horses had ‘significantly’ lower stress levels than a control group.

Dr Patricia Pendry, from Washington State University, said: ‘We found that children who had participated in the 12-week programme had significantly lower stress hormone levels throughout the day and in the afternoon, compared to children in the waitlisted group.

‘We get excited about that because we know that higher base levels of cortisol – particularly in the afternoon – are considered a potential risk factor for the development of psychopathology.’

Researchers hope the finding could help them develop new ways of preventing mental health problems in teenagers.

Researchers hope that the study could be a first step in finding ways to prevent teenagers from developing mental health problems.

Previous studies have already found that interacting with dogs, horses and cats can be good for children as it improves their self-esteem.

However, the idea of horses reducing stress in adolescents has never before been studied.

Dr Pendry said she hopes that horsemanship could be used as a form of therapy for people who have psychological problems.

‘We were coming at this from a prevention perspective,’ said Dr Pendry.

‘We are especially interested in optimising healthy stress hormone production in young adolescents because we know from other research that healthy stress hormone patterns may protect against the development of physical and mental health problems.

‘The beauty of studying stress hormones is that they can be sampled quite noninvasively and conveniently by sampling saliva in naturalistic settings as individuals go about their regular day.’

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