Healing trauma with horses!

Posted on 18 December 2018
Category News

Therapy feature – healing trauma with horses! 

Equine-assisted therapy is a new and exciting development that engages children with horses within a clinical, therapeutic framework.

There is no riding involved. Just being with and around horses is an empowering experience and encourages the child or young person to reach out and to connect with the world in new ways. 

Why horses? 

Horses have many characteristics which lend them to being effective agents of change, including honesty, awareness, and use of nonverbal communication. The role of the horse is to behave naturally and spontaneously, as they do in a herd situation. The horse’s natural state of being invites kids to engage in a safe and authentic connection, a space where change is possible. 

Equine-assisted therapy for kids in care 

Anyone who has experienced trauma in childhood when the brain is developing can be impacted in multiple ways – physically, emotionally and neurologically. In day-to-day life this can mean that people who have experienced trauma in childhood have difficulty self-regulating, both physiologically as well as emotionally. 

To a parent or carer this can look like a child or young person having a lot of difficulty calming down if excited or angry, a significant lack of motivation, difficulty trusting or attaching to people, and ongoing fearfulness.  Trauma can prevent children from fully engaging in the present moment and can limit their capacity to create and experience non-traumatic events, such as learning and connecting. 

Equine-assisted therapy teaches kids to tune into, listen to, understand and respect their body and experiences. Learning acceptance of their feelings, experiences and patterns, learning self-compassion, understanding, and setting goals for their lives that break new ground and take them in a positive and life fulfilling direction are all important focuses of Equine Therapy. 

Heads & Tails is a model of Equine Assisted Clinical Psychology offered in the Blue Mountains of NSW. Visit the following websites for more information: