Understanding Why Horse Therapy Helps People With Eating Disorders

Equine Therapy at Canopy Cove

It’s true. The relationship between human and horse is unlike any other relationship.

There is something special about a horse that brings about a sense of peace when nothing else can. This seems to be true even for those who think that they are afraid of horses and especially for those individuals who are struggling with an eating disorder.

Whether it is Anorexia, Bulimia, or a Binge Eating Disorder, the benefit appears to be remarkable.

Growing up with horses and loving them from an early age helped me realize that being in their presence can be comforting even when the worst thing in your life seems to have just happened.

A bad grade, breaking up with a friend, or being lonely are all more tolerable when there is a gentle nuzzle or a familiar whinny from your equine friend.

Similar situations can happen for eating disorder victims as well, however, the depleted state that Anorexia, Bulimia, or Binge Eating Disorders creates cause coping with everyday life events to be even more difficult. This often leads to distorted thinking and feelings of low self-esteem.

How Equine Assisted Therapy Can Help You

We have included Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) in our residential and partial hospitalization programs at Canopy Covefor over twenty years and the benefits have been incredible.

We have seen individuals who were depressed and non-communicative begin to smile and interact positively after just a few Equine Therapy sessions with our horses.

It is a weekly occurrence at Canopy Cove to watch unassertive clients establish a relationship with one of our horses and initiate movement, turns, and stops with nonverbal cues while working with them in the round pen.

Empowerment therapy with the use of EAT is important and can be accomplished in many ways. Tacking, leading, grooming, and unity work all contribute to this outcome. A sense of accomplishment and a feeling of contentment are outcomes we routinely see.

Horse Assisted Therapy at Canopy Cove

The Equine Team is on site at Canopy Cove and easily accessible.eating-disorder-help-for-girls-with-horses-300x225

This close proximity  makes it more likely that clients will develop closer relationships with our Equine Team.

During scheduled Equine Therapy sessions a specific goal and purpose are planned and addressed. However, during the day and evenings many times therapeutic interactions spontaneously happen whether the clients are watching the horse from a distance, being hands on in the pasture, or interacting over the fence.

One of the client’s favorite interventions is the breath pacing activity. Each client will have the opportunity to sit on their mount while saddled and then bareback.

After establishing a comfortable position the client will then lean forward allowing herself/himself to slowly lay across the horses neck. The next step in this process is to allow time for the client to orient and sit up and then process their experience. Often the client is content to lay over the horse feeling connected and safe until they are cued to sit up and share their experience.

Learn More – Call 800-236-7524.

To learn more about our horses and how Equine Assisted Therapy can help you specifically, call Canopy Cove at 800-236-7524. We’d be happy to talk with you.