Horses are powerful, emotional creatures. When you bring a struggling teen into a corral with such an emotive animal, change is bound to happen. For one teen, equine therapy saved his relationship with his family and brought him away from drug abuse.
Canadian teen, Sam Butler, was using cocaine, had issues with defiance,  and was  involved in several fights at school and home. When he started equine therapy, his outlook on life completely changed. The benefits of equine therapy, for him, were numerous. The horse he bonded with, Cricket, taught him “to be okay with [him]self”. This troubled teen saw something of himself in the horse, which allowed him to gain a sense of self worth. This feeling of self worth, in turn, helped him work through his rage and substance abuse issues.

The powerful benefits of equine therapy

Equine therapy is so different from any other form of therapy. Horses don’t judge who you are, they only care about how you act around them. If a person acts scared or upset around a horse, the horse can perceive that and will not behave well around you. On the other hand, if you are gentle and non-aggressive towards a horse, they will accept you and eventually form a bond. For teens struggling with feelings of low self worth, this acceptance can be extremely meaningful and powerful.

benefits of equine therapy
Image source: blueFire Wilderness

With the horse, teens act as their true selves. This willingness to be vulnerable around others can be transferable to human relationships. Another transferable benefit of equine therapy is what a teen can learn about themselves through their interactions with horses. Teens can learn what their communication style is, as well as how to work through new and unfamiliar situations.

blueFire Wilderness can help

blueFire Wilderness, a wilderness therapy program for teens ages 11-17, helps teens struggling with emotional and behavioral difficulties. With an excellent equine therapy program, blueFire Wilderness has helped hundreds of teens reach their fullest potential.
For more information about blueFire Wilderness, please call 1 (844) 413-1999.

Previous reading
Boys Don’t Cry: Working through the stigma of depression
Next reading
Out into the Great Outdoors: Eight tips for hiking safety