"Chinook Horses"

How Does It Work

  • Horses have deep archetypal significance for humans. They symbolize freedom, power, strength, and nobility.

  • Horses have deep archetypal significance for humans. They symbolize freedom, power, strength, and nobility.

  • Horses are prey animals. Their survival depends on their ability to sense danger. Because of this, horses are gifted at reading and responding to situations.

  • Horses are prey animals. Their survival depends on their ability to sense danger. Because of this, horses are gifted at reading and responding to situations.

  • Horses are also masters of relationship.  They live in family groups and communities; much like humans.

  • Horses are also masters of relationship.  They live in family groups and communities; much like humans.

EFP and EFL is an experiential treatment approach that provides the client abundant opportunities interacting with horse(s) to enhance self-awareness and re-pattern maladaptive behaviors, feelings and attitudes.* 

Lessons plans are driven by treatment and/or educational needs 

Specific language is practiced when working with the horses as partners

One could assert there are more teachable moments in the arena than in the therapist office or classroom

Katcher (2000) suggested that the presence of animals & nature could be looked at as a framework enabling people to form more supportive and inclusive human communities while achieving a sense of competence

Further, the effect of animals on human social interaction and human health & behavior “suggest that animals create a context in which very profound changes in human behavior occur” (Katcher, 2000 p. 462)

Nature offers healing for children growing up in a destructive family or neighborhood*

Provides opportunity for good touch*

Allows time to just be (turn off alert/defense mechanisms)*

Experience communication in the absence of words – equines teach us how we might be impacting or influencing others in our lives

Reduces symptoms of ADHD as we must stay present in our bodies be focused and attentive*

Self-esteem and self-confidence by successfully working and partnering with such powerful animals

*Leslie McCullough, PhD, LCSW, Washburn University, Effect of Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy on Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms in Youth With History of Maltreatment and Abuse