Why Equine Assisted Therapy?

Embrace Hope Sandy Hook utilizes an equine assisted therapy program to bring healing to our participants. Equine assisted therapy sessions:

  • Promote and improve self-efficacy and esteem, motivation, skills acquisition and task accomplishment
  • Promote and improve levels of social competence, social contact, skills and pro-social relationships
  • Promote and improve emotional and cognitive coping abilities
  • Promote and improve communication, trust, empathy, bonding and team work
  • Reduce fear, aggression, loneliness, negative mood, anxiety and depression symptoms
  • Improve stress relief, quality of life and wellbeing
  • Promote and improve educational skills and ability to focus on structured learning and tasks (i.e. learning the alphabet, colors, word association, sequential thinking, speech and appropriate behavioral issues), and play and game competencies
  • Promote independence, sense of responsibility and personal growth.
What is EAGALA?

EAGALA has trained over 8,000 individuals in 41 countries in this experiential modality since its founding in 1999. The program utilizes professionals who use equine assisted therapy to address mental health and human development needs.

Who can equine assisted therapy help?

Equine assisted psychotherapy can help children and young people with complex difficulties around certain presentations including:

  • Depression, suicidal thoughts and self-harm
  • Anxiety
  • Bereavement
  • Trauma
  • Impact of deprivation and abuse
  • Separation and attachment difficulties
  • Conduct and emotional disorders
  • Emotional aspects of learning and physical disabilities.
How are the sessions run?

Our program includes several individual activities:

  • Working as one:  Team building/developing a relationship with the horse
  • Ground Work:  Building self-esteem, learning how to free lunge with body language, decisive 
movements, confidence and control
  • Grooming:  A calming, relaxing, bonding experience with the horse
  • Strengthening the family foundation:  Using horses to work together (for the individual and their family members)
How does the program address the needs of the participants?

We focus on certain cognitive functions, including:

  • Attention
  • Body schema
  • Decision making
  • Executive functioning
  • Following directions
  • Insight
  • Judgment
  • Memory
  • Problem solving
  • Patience
  • Sequencing
  • Task completion

And we incorporate a “spiritual” element that focuses on well-being:

  • Participation within nature
  • Connection with animals/people
  • Mindfulness/presence
  • Care-giving
  • Cooperation
  • Leadership
  • Partnership with horse and humans
  • Responsibility
  • Respect
  • Trust
  • Team building

The emotional well-being of each participant is considered including:

  • Choice making
  • Goal setting
  • Hopefulness
  • Intuition
  • Motivation
  • Mood regulation
  • Safety awareness
  • Self-confidence
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-esteem

And finally, behavioral aspects of each child are brought to bear including:

  • Impulse control
  • Limit setting
  • Relaxation
  • Self-discipline
  • Self-regulation