Many parents may have heard of teen equine therapy and dismissed it as a fleeting trend or a therapy that is too good to be true. However, this is far from accurate, as teen equine therapy importance and benefits are increasingly gaining recognition. Here are a few key things to understand about equine therapy for teens before dismissing it as a treatment option.
First, teen equine therapy has physical benefits. When people spend time with animals, chemicals that have a calming and uplifting effect are released. Teenagers also have to practice emotional control, since horses mirror the behavior that they observe — for instance, a stressed handler will cause anxiety, and an angry handler will cause the horse to be uncooperative or aggressive. Working with horses helps teenagers put their emotions on hold and focus on acting positively. Time spent outdoors or doing something active can also be beneficial for teenagers with a sedentary lifestyle.
Of course, equine therapy can also help teenagers emotionally. To work with a horse, a teenager must build a trusting relationship and let go of negative behaviors like shouting and physical aggression. Teenagers must also learn how to work with the headstrong nature that many horses possess. This helps teenagers practice working with others while gaining insight into a personal behavior that may frustrate or drive away other people.
Teen equine therapy offers a wide range of benefits. Understanding teen equine therapy importance and effects can help parents make an informed decision when deciding what therapy their teenager needs. Teen equine therapy may not be the clear choice for every situation, but it has helped a number of teenagers move past difficult times in a constructive and even fun way.