equine therapy
Photo credit: flickr user – stormsignal

For teenagers who already have a negative connotation with therapy, likely remaining closed up in a traditional therapeutic setting, there is another form of therapy that is more…untraditional.  There’s relationship building involved, personal responsibility development, and even… scooping up poop.  Yes, working with horses is a highly effective treatment approach and this article explains why.

“No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.” – Winston Churchill

Though Mr. Churchill’s statement stands for itself, for troubled teens it goes further- “No hour of life is wasted that is spent with a horse.” A newly studied form of therapy, equine therapy offers emotional healing and development for teens struggling with emotional and social issues.

What is Equine Therapy?

Equine therapy uses horses as a means of therapeutic intervention to increase social skills, become self-aware, and correct at risk behaviors. Though students sometimes ride the horses, most activities are done to teach troubled teens the responsibility of caring for someone other than themselves: grooming, feeding, and leading the horse.

Horses Provide Another Focus

As teens work with their horse, they begin to let down their guard with the therapists. Once they are no longer focused on themselves, their problems and their attitudes, they are more likely to open up.

Equine Therapy Builds Much Needed Life Skills

Caring for a horse requires time, patience, and kindness. Equine therapy helps trouble teens with:

  • Communication
  • Building positive relationships
  • Accepting responsibility
  • Giving back
  • Non-verbal communication

Learning new skills

Taking care of the horse requires teens to learn new skills. As horses naturally mirror the attitudes of their caretakers, teens quickly learn how their attitudes and actions affect others.  This allows the therapist a chance to model and teach what behaviors are acceptable when one is frustrated.

A Holistic Approach To Therapy

At blueFire, we recognize that each individual is different. Equine therapy is just one of the many therapeutic approaches used to help our teens.  Combined with wilderness experience, an unparalleled staff and intensive therapy, your teen will be able to grow exponentially in a very short period of time.  We focus on providing your son or daughter with long-term, holistic healing.

Contact Us

For more information on how horses can be used to teach troubled teens new skills and provide lasting change, visit https://www.bluefirewilderness.com/equine-therapy. Also, call us at 844-413-1999 to speak with a highly supportive admissions person who can answer any questions and guide you through the application process.


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