Benefits of Equine Therapy for Addiction

Written by Will Long

Equine therapy, also known as horse therapy or equine-assisted therapy, is a powerful experiential treatment that can help individuals struggling with addiction find healing and recovery. At JourneyPure At The River, we integrate equine therapy into our comprehensive addiction treatment program, allowing clients to experience the unique benefits of working with horses.

What Is Equine Therapy?

Equine therapy involves interactions between clients and horses, guided by a mental health professional and an equine specialist. The therapy can include activities like grooming, feeding, and leading horses, as well as mounted or ground-based exercises. Through these interactions, clients build trust, empathy, and communication skills that can be translated to their human relationships and recovery journey.

Equine therapy is grounded in the idea that horses are highly attuned to human emotions and can provide immediate, honest feedback. Because horses are prey animals, they are hypervigilant and react to the subtle changes in a person’s body language, emotions, and energy. This sensitivity allows horses to serve as a mirror, reflecting a person’s internal state and promoting self-awareness and growth.

Benefits Of Equine Therapy For Addiction Recovery

Equine therapy offers numerous benefits for people in addiction recovery, including:

  • Emotional regulation: Working with horses can help individuals better understand and regulate their emotions. Horses respond to the energy and emotions of the people around them, providing instant feedback that can help clients recognize and manage their own emotional states.
  • Increased self-awareness: Interacting with horses requires being present, authentic, and congruent in one’s thoughts, feelings, and actions. This promotes greater self-awareness and encourages clients to align their internal experiences with their outward expressions.
  • Improved communication skills: Horses communicate non-verbally, which challenges clients to develop greater awareness of their own non-verbal cues and to communicate effectively through body language and energy.
  • Trust and relationship building: Developing a relationship with a horse requires trust, respect, and mutual understanding. As clients build a bond with their horse, they learn valuable skills for building healthy relationships in their human lives.
  • Boosted self-esteem and confidence: Accomplishing tasks and overcoming challenges with a horse can be incredibly empowering. As clients learn to communicate with and direct a large, powerful animal, they build confidence and self-esteem that can translate to other areas of their lives.
  • Reduced stress and anxiety: The calming presence of horses and the peaceful environment of the stables can help reduce stress and anxiety. Grooming and caring for horses can be a meditative and grounding experience that promotes relaxation and reduces stress.
  • Physical benefits: Equine therapy can also provide physical benefits, such as improved balance, coordination, and core strength. Grooming and leading horses can be physically engaging activities that promote healthy movement and exercise.
Equine therapy offers numerous benefits for people in addiction recovery
Equine therapy offers numerous benefits for people in addiction recovery

Experience The Healing Power Of Horses At JourneyPure At The River

At JourneyPure At The River, we are proud to offer equine therapy as part of our holistic approach to addiction treatment. Located on over 100 acres of scenic Tennessee countryside, our peaceful campus is home to stables and horses that are an integral part of our clients’ recovery experience.

Through equine therapy and a range of other evidence-based treatments, we help individuals build the skills, confidence, and resilience needed for lasting recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, we invite you to experience the transformative power of this unique experiential therapy at JourneyPure At The River.

Take the first step toward healing today. Call us at 615-410-9260 to learn more about our equine therapy program and start your journey to recovery.