Equine Assisted Therapy

smiling equine student

Do you have an interest in taking your love of horse care and combining it with your love of helping others?  

Now you can with a minor in equine assisted therapy from The Woods, one of only 20 equestrian colleges in the nation to have a Bachelor of Science degree in equine studies. The equine assisted therapy minor offers a course of study that combines elements of education, mental health and organizational leadership. 

Horse-riding skills are not required for students in this minor. While previous experience with horse training and horse care is helpful in your choice to study equine assisted therapy, you can begin with any level of knowledge about horses.

What is Equine Assisted Therapy?

Equine Assisted Therapy is the use of horses and other equines to promote growth, learning and psychological well-being for people. It is increasingly used to help people with a wide range of needs. Some of those who benefit from equine-facilitated therapies are:

  • at-risk youth
  • children who are not achieving their academic potential
  • children with behavioral problems
  • children with special learning needs
  • children with autism
  • adults and children who have experienced family violence
  • people in recovery from substance abuse or addiction
  • people with depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder
  • returning veterans

Equine-based learning activities are also widely used for organizational leadership training and teaching teamwork skills. Businesses, not-for-profit organizations and congregations seek equine-based services to help them become more productive.

The relationship between people and horses is the basis for all equine-facilitated therapy. Participants engage in structured activities under the guidance of the therapist or leader. The unique interaction of the individual with the horse leads to increased confidence, self-esteem and understanding of themselves and others.