Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Milwaukee Magazine

Healing Power of Horses: Mental and Physical Benefits of Equine Therapy

Jul 01, 2024 12:00AM ● By Natural Awakenings Milwaukee
Equine therapy is a powerful and enjoyable modality to address both physical and emotional challenges. Across various therapeutic settings, horses are proving to be more than just majestic creatures; they are effective co-therapists. From helping individuals manage conditions such as stress, PTSD, anxiety and depression to aiding those with physical disabilities, the benefits of equine-assisted therapy are vast.

Horses naturally experience emotions similar to people, creating a dynamic that fosters healing through genuine connection and empathy. Moreover, the act of riding or caring for these animals can help people to be present and mindful, build self-confidence, enhance social skills and a sense of responsibility. Countless therapists and counselors have observed remarkable improvements in clients when incorporating horses into the treatment process.

Physical therapists also note significant benefits. Riding a horse can improve flexibility, balance and muscle strength in people of all ages, thanks to the natural movements that mimic human walking patterns. Equine-assisted treatment has been shown to help children and adults with motor conditions such as cerebral palsy and multiples sclerosis to improve motor function, posture and gait as well.

Equine therapy isn’t just about emotional and physical rehabilitation; it’s about fun and engagement. This unique blend of joy and therapy draws in clients who might otherwise be resistant to traditional treatment methods, making equine therapy a growing field in both popularity and success.

Local Resource:  Horse Power Healing Center 

Wendy Konicheck, owner, is a PATH-Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning and holds specialty certificates for Autism and Equine Services for Heroes. In 2023, she became an EAL Academy Certified Equine Learning Facilitator.