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Equine Therapy At A Ranch For Troubled Youth

Equine Therapy at Resolution Ranch Academy Helps Troubled Boys

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

The goal of equine therapy is to help troubled boys develop needed skills and attributes, such as accountability, responsibility, self-confidence, problem-solving skills, and self-control.

Structured around a fully operating on-site facility with safety as a first-priority, Equine therapy at Resolution Ranch Academy was specifically designed to address the various adversities of teenagers. The Resolution Ranch Equine Therapy program is made up of two components: Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) and Equine Assisted Learning (EAL).

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP):
Emotional Growth Through Horse Therapy

In Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) involves a team that includes a mental health professional and a horse professional. Student’s interaction with the horses are designed to reflect and illuminate deeper real-life issues. Horses are extremely perceptive and pick up on a student’s attitude, energy, enthusiasm (or lack of), allowing a therapist to recognize areas of unhealthy behaviors and their root causes. Because EAP focuses on being active in the present moment, it creates an engaging environment where participants can openly discuss their feelings and behaviors with their therapist.

Equine Assisted Learning (EAL):
Applied Learning Through Horse Care

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

EAP, Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) requires the student to apply certain learned skills and set educational goals. Although EAL involves specific Equine tasks, the focus of this is not on a student’s riding abilities or horsemanship. What’s most important is how a student responds to adverse and developmental experiences. These realizations often help a student address their own challenges and build skills like having patience, working with authority figures, and being more honest along the way.

What Conditions are Treated with Equine Therapy?

Research shows Equine-Assisted Activities are an appropriate therapeutic approach for teens. Some conditions or disorders that respond well to EAP or related equine-assisted therapies include:

  • Substance Use Disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • PTSD
  • Stress
  • Trauma
  • Eating Disorders
  • Behavior Disorders
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Learning Challenges
  • ADD/ADHD

What are the Benefits of Equine Therapy?

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
Studies have indicated that equine therapy has been successful in helping clients show marked improvements in the following areas:

  • Emotional awareness
  • Empathy
  • Stress tolerance
  • Flexibility
  • Impulse control
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Self-actualization
  • Independence
  • Self-regard
  • Social responsibility
  • Interpersonal relationships

Many of the benefits of equine therapy are likely due to the nature of the animals with which the patient and equine therapist are interacting. Horses are typically non-judgmental, have no preconceived expectations or motives, and are highly effective at mirroring attitudes and behaviors of the humans with whom they are working.

While working with horses under the guidance and supervision of an equine therapist, equine therapy patients have a unique and effective opportunity to note their tendency to engage in self-defeating and otherwise negative thoughts and actions. These realizations provide excellent bases for discussion and processing both during and after the equine therapy experience.

Equine Therapy Helps Trauma Based Disorders

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

When a teen boy struggles with trauma based disorders i.e., oppositional defiant disorder, attachment disorder, defiance disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, reactive attachment disorder, attention deficit disorder, anxiety, depression, or lack of social interaction, Equine Therapy can help him: 

  • improve socialization and communication
  • reduce isolation, boredom, and loneliness
  • brighten affect and mood, lessen depression, or provide pleasure and affection
  • improve memory and recall
  • address grieving and loss issues
  • improve self-esteem, be presented with opportunities to succeed and feel important, and improve feelings of self-worth
  • improve reality
  • improve cooperation and problem-solving ability
  • improve concentration and attention, and increase engagement
  • decrease manipulative behaviors
  • improve the expression of feelings
  • reduce general anxiety
  • reduce abusive behavior
  • improve an ability to trust
  • learn appropriate touch

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

Equine Therapy at Resolution Ranch Academy can help a troubled adolescent boy build trust, self-efficiency, communication, perspective, social skills, impulse control, and learn boundaries. Since the horses share similar social and responsive behaviors, troubled boys easily create a connection with the horse during equine therapy.    

When a teen rides a horse, it senses his emotions. If he acts scared, the horse becomes alert to his fear and prepares to run away from pending danger. As teens learn to regulate their emotions and take charge of the horse, they gain self-esteem and confidence.     

Research suggests that equine therapy is highly effective in treating troubled boys with various disorders because horses can be non-judgmental and patient. Furthermore, horses are sensitive and observant creatures that give a teen quick feedback, helping him become more aware of himself.    

The two main reasons horses make for perfect therapeutic animals are their ability to be wholly unbiased and mirroring. Pet therapy research suggests that equine therapy is highly effective in treating patients with a wide array of disorders as horses can be non-judgmental and patient.  Furthermore, horses are sensitive and observant creatures that provide the patient with quick feedback, helping them be more aware of themselves. That’s why Resolution Ranch Academy, a school for troubled youth in Texas, offers Equine Therapy in addition to counseling for teens. We want each student to experience effective counseling and improve daily life at school and back home with family.

Looking For A Therapeutic Boarding School For Your Son?
Consider Resolution Ranch Academy

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

A School for Troubled Boys in Texas

At Resolution Ranch Academy, we utilize a family-oriented approach that emphasizes teen therapy, nature, and community to help troubled boys discover constructive ways to manage anger and develop a positive value system. By implementing a personalized and nurturing treatment program for each teen, we address the full spectrum of emotional, behavioral, and academic problems that contribute to out-of-control behavior.

Resolution Ranch provides solutions to families dealing with troubled teen boys. For more information on our programs for troubled youth in Texas or to enroll your child in our treatment program, please contact the knowledgeable staff at Resolution Ranch.

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