A girl bonds with a horse

It’s important to note that there are many different routes of addiction recovery that one can take. Indeed, there is no “one size fits all” method of treatment that will work for everyone. For this reason, at Renaissance Ranch, we have adapted our program to ensure that it is using the latest techniques of multiple programs to help individuals beat addiction and get on the road to recovery. One of these options is equine therapy.


Equine therapy is a type of therapy that uses horses as a therapeutic tool to help with the emotional health of our patients. Emotional intelligence is something that addiction tends to wear down, and thus it is important to build it back up over the course of treatment. Equine therapy has proven to be an effective addition to our program that has helped people from many different walks of life.


What our equine therapy program entails


The horses that we use at Renaissance Ranch are lovingly brought in each week by a local neighbor who wants to help people in need. Equine therapy treatment is applicable to both the men’s and women’s programs, and can be utilized in a variety of ways. For some people, riding the horses is incredibly therapeutic, and allows for a deep connection with the animal that is brought out through physical activity. However, equine therapy can be just as effective without actual horseback riding. A large part of the program involves caring for the horses by grooming and feeding them, thus building a stronger bond.


Empathetic powers of horses


A lot of people have one specific question about equine therapy: “Why horses?” Well, it is certainly true that all sorts of animals have tremendous therapeutic benefits. It’s for this reason that many people use dogs, cats, mice, lizards, snakes, and even spiders for emotional support animals. There are tangible benefits that each of these animals are bringing to a patient. However, there is something about horses that people seem to really connect to. The size of these animals and the fact that each of them portray a very outward personality helps people empathize with them.


The horses that we use are gentle animals that are quite loving. This enables people to build an emotional intelligence that helps promote insight and self-reflection, which are crucial aspects of recovery. It’s for this reason that horses have proven to be incredibly helpful for people who have struggled with many types of mental health problems, including PTSD, OCD, anxiety, and depression, among other things.