Horses are highly intuitive, emotional, and intelligent animals. They easily pick up on nonverbal cues and give us visible feedback we can utilize to better understand our own behavior.
At The Bridge to Recovery, we utilize horses and trained equine clinicians in the facilitation of the therapeutic process. This modality is a favorite amongst our clients and is highly effective.
Equine Therapy continues to grow in its field of study, and research continues to show why it is effective against anxiety, depression, and many other mental health issues.
Experiential therapies are just that – an experience. Many people find success in traditional talk therapy, but when combined with experiential therapies, they find greater success. Experiential therapies can benefit us in a number of ways with just one exercise (or experience).
While in the arena with a horse, it really wants one thing from us: to know what we want from it. They do not harbor ill will, preconceived notions, stereotypes, prejudices, or judgements like human can. This makes interacting with a horse often feel safer than interacting with a fellow human, thus allowing us to receive the lesson with a clearer and more accepting mindset.
Already mentioned several times – horses are very sensitive. This is because horses rely on all their senses – sight, smell, touch, sound. Humans give off nonverbal cues that we created as our communication skills developed. Because horses rely on their senses, they are able to give us feedback from a whole different perspective than a human could.
Our clients participate in equine therapy throughout their time in our program. It is required, unless the client is medically unable to participate (i.e. an allergy to horses, etc.). Our equine program is held on an adjacent property to our own in a beautiful covered horse arena. We utilize equine therapy year round.
We recognize that horses are large and powerful animals. Some folks have a fear of their size and power, while others may have had a negative experience which left them in fear of horses.
Please share this with your intake coordinator during the admission process, but we will ask that you still plan to participate, with the following understanding:
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“ Honestly the Bridge taught me something I already knew but had to remember. I am so damn special, valid, and important. Everyone in my life saw it, but me. The Bridge just showed me how to look in the mirror to see for myself. ”
- Jewel, Alumnus