Equine Assisted Therapy

Equine Therapy for horse and human in Bloomington Indiana, Indianapolis, Columbus IN.

Equine Therapy for Horse & Human 

Time and again we have seen someone with stooped posture and bradykinesia (slowed, shuffling gait, common in Parkinson's) raise their head, straighten their back, and confidently walk out of the barn with their horse on a lead. Clients with multiple sclerosis (MS) find that both riding as well as caring for their horse (with moderation) improves their balance and helps overcome what is often cited as the most prevalent symptom associated with MS: severe depression. At a more basic yet essential level, caring for horses requires movement (excellent for improving balance, reducing spasticity, increasing range of motion) and being outdoors in some capacity. Increased vitamin D from being in sunshine is considered to be important for everyone—but particularly for those with MS or Parkinson's due to its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties—and the many benefits of being in outdoor settings have been a panacea and healer for mind and body since time immemorial.

If one shares one's life with a horse—or any animal—one is privileged. For women who are seeking a stride in the right direction, or to find a meaningful, sustainable form of physical and emotional support during health challenges, Equine Assisted Therapy can be part of Comprehensive Therapy Programs or Mentoring and Lifestyle Therapy. Support is provided by a C-IAYT yoga therapist with a background in equine therapy and decades working with horses. Sessions are based upon practical applications related to self-care, emotional resilience and physical wellbeing, as well as a good dose of common sense. We do not provide psychotherapy.

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Any healing—be it physical or otherwise—happens at multiple levels. We have spent years training horses and dogs and worked extensively with them as an equine therapist, often finding that an animal's so-called problems resided in their human counterpart's expectations and behavior. At times it is necessary to step back from the intensity of our emotions, desire for fixed outcomes, and reaching preconceived "goals." Life is not a race, or a show arena. Much like an injured or broken-down horse, or a show-horse that sweats and trembles when it hears the sounds of show tack-and-gear being loaded, we sometimes find ourselves with head stretched forward, breathing quickly, and anticipating pain and stress at every turn. When this high-alert state of being is added to by a life-challenge such as a neurological condition or disability it has a long-term impact not only on emotional wellbeing, but physical health. Horses are, quite simply, a force of nature: They are also empathetic creatures, comforting and steadfast when we most need it, yet also serving as a catalyst for stepping out of ourselves when we become too caught up in our worries and ruminations. When their human companion becomes absent, or no longer shows up regularly to spend time with them, they are bereft as well, particularly when the bond between human and four-legged has lasted over many years.

 

Equine Assisted Therapy for horse and human is provided at the client's location in Bloomington Indiana, Indianapolis, Columbus Indiana and other local areas. A phone consultation is required before the first in-person session as this program requires a strong commitment, emphasizing compassion to bring about positive change and healing in horse and human.

 

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Equine Therapy - Equine Assisted Therapy for women and their horses in Bloomington IN, Indianapolis, Columbus IN.

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