Horses are fantastic therapy! Every day that I go to the barn is a calming, relaxing, stimulating, positive and enriching experience. Horses don't care how you look, how much you weigh, what your hair looks like, what size breeches you're in, if you're wearing the most expensive equipment or if you still have sleepers in your eyes during an early morning ride. They are non-judgmental and when you gain a horse's trust and respect, it means more than anything in the world.
I've done some research on equine therapy programs and even though there are many in my area, I find that just helping out at my trainers barn, riding 2x a week and spending as much time with her horses as I can is probably doing me just as much good as going to a formal program!
I started volunteering at an equine therapy type center right next to my barn called "Taking the Reins". It's a program that helps young girls who are under served in the community to learn responsibility, leadership, friendship and confidence through working with horses, riding them, caring for them and learning about them in an equine science class. In just a few weeks I've seen a couple of girls who were terrified of riding actually posting at the trot and loving it!
Horses have taught me to slow down and not speed up and do everything so fast. They taught me to have faith in myself and to put my needs aside to make sure that the horse has what it needs to be comfortable, safe and happy. I get just as much out of playing with the horses in turnout as I do riding, as I do grooming them up. Their energy and spirit is so healing and uplifting.
Horses are definitely therapy. One of their many talents!!