Chances are if you own a pet you know the benefits of having a furry companion. They keep you company, are always happy to see you and know very well when you are down. Horses have long been admired for their ability to move people from one place to another as well as their participation in sports racing. But did you know that horses are active participants in therapy? Equine assisted therapy has been used for decades in the fight against things like Alzheimer’s disease, depression and other cognitive disorders.

Although Equine Therapy can be employed in a variety of modalities, it has proven effective with older adults in the areas of Dementia and Alzheimers as it allows the patient to immerse themselves fully in observing and taking care of the animal. Horses are really good at “mirroring” what they see and thus patient and therapist, meaning the horse, are able to establish a close connection while any given activity is taking place. Activities involving Equine Therapy and seniors consist of grooming, feeding and leading the horse.

In order for therapy to be safe it needs to be guided by an equine therapist, trained in this particular type of delivery. Some of the benefits observed include: Impulse control, mood regulation, better stress tolerance and empathy.

There are various equine establishments in the valley where you can inquire about this type of therapy but it’s safe to say that owning a pet has similar benefits. So next time you are feeling a little blue take your dog for a walk, bathe him or simply play a game of fetch outside. You will get much needed sun as well as activity into your day.

To learn more about Equine Therapy check out the website below: