Alpine Academy in Utah reviews its educational and therapy services to ensure they are helping teens in the most effective ways. Alpine Academy offers individual and group sessions in equine-assisted therapy, utilizing an EAGALA and EAP-certified recreation specialist or another experienced horse professional and your child’s primary therapist as facilitators. Of all the therapeutic services offered by Alpine Academy in Utah, equine therapy is amongst the most popular and most effective for teens. Today, the Academy will look at the different benefits of equine therapy.
Equine therapy provides a chance for teens with behavioral issues to learn about responsibility in a very fun and engaging way. In a world where more and more people rely on technology to fill their every waking moment, equine therapy provides an opportunity for teens to reconnect with nature. There are natural benefits to exposure to fresh air. Moods can change for the better simply because teens are taking in the sunshine and freeing their minds from anxiety or negative thoughts that stem from everything from school to family dynamics to school crushes. Science has linked fresh air to raised spirits, lower blood pressure and stress relief. Of course, the same could be said for hiking or other outdoor activities. So, what makes equine therapy special?
Very special bonds can be formed with horses. A lot of teens that struggle with behavioral issues are notorious for having a tough time establishing positive relationships with their peers. People need socialization for their mental health. The bond that is formed with the horse creates a concept of what a positive relationship looks like. The only way to form a relationship with a horse is to create an established mutual trust between the animal and the rider. This practice can then be taken into the real world with people where trust will determine the health of any relationship.
Teens cannot approach a horse with anger or aggression. Horses respond positively to calm behavior. When a teen is able to approach them with a level of peace and respect, the horse will return the favor. Teens can clearly see how their behavior impacts the horse in real-time. There’s no hidden agenda with a horse. If a teen behaves properly, they will receive the result they desire. If they do not, the horse will not play favorites. At first, it’s not uncommon for teens to be scared of the sheer power of their horse. Overcoming fears is critical to success in life. Equine therapy forces teens to jump outside of their comfort zone and overcome adversity. This is critical to success throughout life.
Throughout equine therapy, teens are forced to take care of their animal. This teaches responsibility that can be applied in and out of the classroom. Bonds with animals can be extremely therapeutic and horses are extremely loyal creatures. When students learn how to form a positive bond with their horse, they learn how to communicate more effectively with their peers.