Have you ever wondered why horses have a special place in our hearts? It turns out that these majestic creatures have a unique ability to sense human emotions and react to them in their own unique way. This is why horses play a significant role in treating mental health issues, with a therapy method known as Equine-assisted therapy (EAP).
Why Horses are Perfect for Human Mental Health Therapy
Horses are prey animals, making them hyper-vigilant and highly sensitive to their environment and people’s emotional states. They have been used for thousands of years to treat mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. Equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP) involves a team of mental health professionals and a trained horse professional. This therapy method can be a lifesaver for patients who don’t have access to other forms of therapy or who have a hard time expressing their feelings to others.
In equine therapy, clients have the chance to bond with these herd animals in a natural setting, which can make it easier for them to open up and express their thoughts and emotions. The bond that forms between the horse and the patient is safe, non-judgmental, and can be incredibly helpful in treating various mental health issues.
Promoting Mindfulness and Self-Discovery
Horses are known for their non-judgmental nature, making them the perfect therapy animals. They don’t judge people based on their appearance or diagnoses, which allows patients to feel comfortable sharing their emotions. In therapy sessions, patients observe their horse and watch how the horse responds to them, helping them understand their emotions and explore their stories in a new way.
A horse can also help clients practice mindfulness, promoting acceptance, curiosity, and openness. This, in turn, can help patients become more aware of their thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations without judgment.
The large size of horses also allows patients to explore their fears, past traumas, unmet needs, and feelings of inadequacy or lack of control. This helps patients process their feelings without giving in to their usual defense mechanisms. As a result, patients can feel more comfortable in their own skin and take on new challenges, boosting their self-esteem and confidence.
“Eating for Mental Health”: The Importance of Proper Nutrition For The Therapy Horse
Just like us, horses can have insulin spikes when consuming high amounts of sugar. A very effective way to reduce insulin spikes is to add a horse oil into the feed ration. This is why it’s crucial to feed them a balanced diet, high in fibre, ideally being grain free and low in sugar and starch. Feeding your therapy horse the right diet will ensure that they are calm and relaxed around humans, making therapy sessions more effective.
In conclusion, equine-assisted therapy is a rapidly growing treatment option for mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and addiction. With the help of these gentle giants, patients can identify their emotions, build a stronger connection with their feelings, and find new ways to communicate their thoughts and emotions in a healthy manner.
CEN Nutrition offer a free diet analysis for any horse owners who might be struggling with their own horse’s behavior or just looking to speak with an equine nutritionist who will be able to assist in balancing a horse’s diet.
Erik Jackson has been a senior editor at Health News Tribune for three years. Fluent in French and proficient in Spanish and Arabic, he focuses on diseases and conditions and the newest trends in medicine.