Horses and humans have had strong bonds for thousands of years. One of the reasons for this close relationship is the power of the horse to perceive and understand human emotion. Horses can tell if there’s been a change in their environment because of the way their brains are comprised. Because they are prey animals, their highly developed limbic systems allow them to develop complex relationships. Equine therapy stems from this ability of horses to develop close bonds with animals. For teens struggling to form healthy, trusting relationships with others, the bonds formed with horses during equine therapy are invaluable to their growth in other areas of their lives.
Benefits of Equine Therapy for Struggling Young People
There are so many benefits for teens working with horses in equine therapy. Some of these include:
- Overcoming fears: Horses are such large creatures and when a teen who is struggling with anxiety and other emotional difficulties first interacts with a horse, this can be overwhelming. Many teens feel like they won’t be accepted or acknowledged by the horse. When the horse proves them wrong and comes to accept them, they can form a relationship and learn to process their emotions. This positive relationship with the horse can transfer over to a teen’s day to day life.
- Learning to communicate: Teens who struggle to communicate well with others can learn a lot from horses. Horses are wonderful communicators. From horses, teens can learn nonverbal communication cues that help them understand the way their behavior affects others.
- A sense of trust: Horses are non-judgmental. They don’t lie or manipulate you. They’re straightforward and only react to what they see in front of them. Because of that, teens who have been struggling with trust in the past can learn to trust others again through their interactions with horse.
- Working through their emotions: Horses can sense human emotion and react according to what they see. If a teen is upset, the horse will not react to the teen in a positive way. Seeing the horse’s response can help teens control how they are feeling and become more self aware. This can translate into teens’ relationship with others because they will more closely monitor their emotions.
blueFire Wilderness can help
blueFire Wilderness, a wilderness therapy program for young people ages 11-17, helps teens struggling with emotional and behavioral difficulties such as depression, anxiety, and substance use issues. By utilizing the outdoors, along with other experiential techniques such as equine therapy, blueFire can help your teen find success.
For more information about blueFire Wilderness, please call 1 (844) 413-1999.