There is a wide range of treatment options for troubled teens, from boot camp-inspired retreats to medication. However, for parents who want an effective but safe approach, it is worthwhile to consider teen equine therapy as a treatment for troubled teens. Some parents may believe that equine therapy is not effective or practical enough, but the therapy offers many surprising benefits.
During equine therapy, teenagers must learn to work with horses to complete tasks together. Learning to work with animals — especially horses, which are often stubborn and slow to trust — forces teenagers to work on many important skills. Impulse and anger control are crucial, as horses do not respond well to outbursts or force. A degree of empathy and reflection is also necessary, as teenagers must project outside of their own feelings and try to get into the horse’s mind. This helps teenagers put aside self-centered behaviors, focus on others, and practice positive social interactions.
Another benefit of equine therapy is that it is unlikely to fail or have negative effects. Harsh therapy treatments can backfire and cause teenagers to become more mistrustful of others or entrenched in their habits. Equine therapy is a treatment that almost any teenager can come to love. It is extremely unlikely that this therapy will alienate a teenager by making him or her feel powerless or mistreated.
Parents should not overlook teen equine therapy as a treatment option for troubled teenagers. Many people miss out on the benefits of this treatment because they do not know enough about it to make a good decision. If equine therapy is an available option for your teenager, make sure that you consider it and explore it thoroughly.