Equine-Assisted Therapy Program
Equine-assisted therapy is also known as horse-assisted therapy or equine-assisted psychotherapy. This program is designed to give participants an interactive, action-based way to overcome their addiction to drugs or alcohol.
An Innovative Approach to Trauma and Addiction Therapy
Our experienced therapists will help you build a relationship with your horse, develop life skills to carry beyond equine therapy, and work to fulfill your recovery goals. Forging a sincere connection with a horse helps our clients improve their communication skills and practice maintaining a commitment through the structure of our program.
Addiction, trauma, and chronic stress have negative effects on the brain which can inhibit your ability to create and maintain healthy connections. The brain’s adaptive responses to these stressors create avoidant, inconsistent behavior patterns. In equine-assisted therapy sessions, clients consistently practice self-regulation, which gives them the skills to calm their bodies. It also enables them to improve their cognitive processing abilities.
Equine-assisted therapy provides essential sensory stimulation. This cultivates the mental development addresses some of the root causes of addiction. In addition to groundwork with horses, our programs use mounted exercises. These provide movement that organizes the brain and produces new neural pathways for mental and emotional growth. Therefore, by engaging different areas of the brain, clients begin the process of understanding their true needs, setting them on a path to find new, healthy ways to explore and interact within their environment, without the crutch of addictive substances.
The influence of this therapeutic experience promotes change. Old belief systems are challenged while mastery and confidence are gained. Clients are empowered by their success with our horses. New interests are explored, and new, healthy relationship patterns are discovered and fine-tuned.
Equine Therapy Benefits
Equine therapy offers many benefits for our residents, especially those who have trouble connecting with others or who struggle with self-care. The Last Resort’s equine-assisted therapy program also helps individuals learn how to care for another living thing and, in turn, themselves. Some additional benefits include:
Our equine therapy programming includes:
More Than a Casual Horseback Ride
Equine-assisted psychotherapy, as taught by the Natural Lifemanship program, is not a typical trail ride. Our animal-assisted addiction treatment program has been carefully cultivated to guide our residents to build a deep and meaningful relationship with their horse. By building a profound, emotional connection to their animal, our clients are able to learn essential relationship skills and begin a true healing process.
Addiction generally causes significant interpersonal pitfalls for our clients in their daily lives. By forming a healthy connection to our on-site horses, clients are better prepared to nurture positive relationships with people. This reduces the need to rely on addictive substances to cope with social and emotional anxiety.
At The Last Resort Recovery, our horses are not merely tools, but companions that form a true connection with our clients. The genuine, nonjudgmental, and accepting nature of these animals provides the bridge to connect with others in a positive, authentic way. Equine-assisted therapy helps our clients reform the bonds of compassion and overcome the emotional and mental distress from past relationships, creating a path to healing and an addiction-free life.
Equine Therapy Near Austin, TX
When it comes to addiction treatment, traditional methods are most effective when accompanied by experiential therapies. Equine-assisted therapy is an innovative and proven experiential method that helps our residents connect with others, express themselves, overcome their addictions, and prepare for a healthy lifestyle. We also offer other programs to help clients face addiction, including:
To learn more about our equine therapy program, contact The Last Resort Recovery today!
Frequently Asked Questions
How many horses do you have?
At The Last Resort, we have 20 horses. They vary in size and personality, ensuring that each resident can be paired with their perfect horse.
Are your horses on campus or off-site? Do residents have to travel to ride?
All of our horses are conveniently housed on The Last Resort’s 55-acre ranch. There’s no need to leave the premises to access our equine therapy services.
My child loves horses. Will family members get to participate in equine therapy?
Yes, equine therapy is part of our family programming! Our team will provide you with all the information you need about preparing for an equine therapy session, including guidelines about who may participate.
What can I expect from an equine therapy session?
We use equine therapy to work on relationship skills. Horses are prey animals, and in the wild, they move in herds. They’re very good at judging your feelings and intentions. To build a relationship with our horses, clients learn to regulate their emotions, read the horse’s expressions, and make the animal feel safe.
Each session consists of either grounded or mounted work. Whether you are standing with the horse or going on a ride, each equine therapy session is both informative and restorative.
Do you offer trail rides?
Yes, The Last Resort’s campus is home to miles of well-kept trails. Our therapeutic trail rides serve as an opportunity to explore emotions and reflect on one’s past. They also show our clients how to have fun without drugs or alcohol.
I’m scared of horses. Do I have to participate in equine-assisted therapy during my stay?
We understand that equine-assisted therapy might not be for everyone. Our staff members will never force anyone to interact with a horse if they feel unsafe. Our equine therapy team works closely with our medical team to determine whether a client would benefit from this therapeutic approach. If a client does not participate, the therapists will use that time to discuss relationships and emotional regulation with the client.