As defined by PATH International: The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International, equine-facilitated psychotherapy (EFP) is an interactive process in which a licensed mental health professional working with or as an appropriately credentialed equine professional, partners with suitable equine(s) to address psychotherapy goals set forth by the mental health professional and the client.
Equines are able to perceive, respond to and learn from the impressions they receive from minimal sensory stimuli. Therfore, equines make decisions based upon the stimuli they experience from others or from their environment (Hangg, 2005; Nicol, 2002; Proops, McComb, & Reby, 2009; Saslow, 2002) thus providing an opportunity for reflection and insight into our experiences with them.
Whether it's a five-year-old with Down syndrome, or an adult struggling with depression, research shows that individuals of all ages and histories who participate in equine-assisted activities can experience physical and emotional rewards.
~You can find this and more information on equine-facilitated psychotherapy at http://www.pathintl.org~