Equine (Horse) Assisted Psychotherapy

“Do you give the horse its strength
or clothe its neck with a flowing mane?
Do you make it leap like a locust,
striking terror with its proud snorting?
It paws fiercely, rejoicing in its strength,
and charges into the fray.
It laughs at fear, afraid of nothing;
it does not shy away from the sword.
The quiver rattles against its side,
along with the flashing spear and lance.
In frenzied excitement it eats up the ground;
it cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds.
At the blast of the trumpet it snorts, ‘Aha!’
It catches the scent of battle from afar,
the shout of commanders and the battle cry.” Job 39

EAP Benefits

Dana shares why she loves working with horses in therapy. Click on image to view.

With horses I feel my empathy and sadness.  -EAP Client

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy uses the EAGALA Model. This technique does not involve horseback riding.  It provides an environment for the client to interact with the horse and observe the animal’s behavior.  The animals behavior may mirror the child’s which increases self awareness.  This approach is an excellent choice for children, youth and adults that may suffer from various mental health challenges.  This therapeutic technique may be done individually, with a family unit, or groups.  Your child will work with the counselor and an equine specialist to assist them in identifying areas where they may struggle.  Our weaknesses more easily surface when the child/youth tries to accomplish a task with the horse. Families participating in equine therapy may experience an increase in communicating more positively which increases their ability to manage negative behavior within the family unit. Problem solving  is another focus of Equine psychotherapy.

Since people and especially children are naturally attracted to animals their interaction with the horses helps them to feel less threatened when talking with a counselor about vulnerable subjects.  This equine experience allows the child to communicate, learn, experience and identify many aspects of their personality and behaviors while increasing their awareness and motives.  Interacting with horses gives the client an opportunity to see how their behavior affects animals.  This demonstrates to the child or adult why human beings may react toward positively or negatively toward them.


Perhaps it is the size (1000 pounds) of a horse. It may be the horses’ profound sensitivity towards a person that expands their emotional capacity to see themselves truthfully as they are in a non-restrictive, accepting environment. The power and size of the horse provide an opportunity for the client to overcome fears and increase their sense of self. Like people horses have their own personality.  Since they hang together in herds…kind of like a gang there is a specific social order just like in life, everyone knows their place. This non-threatening environment allows individuals, children and youth to respond easily to treatment allowing the CFCCC team to encourage growth quickly.


We are now offering equine-assisted psychotherapy in Galena, Ohio.  Call today to learn more about this unique therapy model.


For more general background information on Equine Assisted Psychotherapy please follow the link below: