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REFUGE Services - Lubbock, Texas
Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy
W e l c o m e


Horses have long been recognized as a valuable tool to mankind. The use of horses in a professional therapeutic setting, however, is fairly recent. Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is a dawning discipline in which horses are utilized to create a therapeutic setting employing an experiential, action-based, counseling model. In EAP, a clinical professional and a certified and specifically trained horse professional work to co-facilitate a therapeutic process together with the clients.

Each EAP activity is designed with a specific objective and underlying theme. Therapy sessions do not focus on horsemanship skills, leisure or entertainment. EAP is therapeutic in nature; the horse is employed as a therapy assistant. The client is on horseback only for specific exercises and is always closely supervised. Each session is unique due to group dynamics and individual horse and human characteristics. Dynamics brought out by the activity are discussed at the end of each session in the debriefing time.

Horses have an underlying ability to heal and teach. They present unconditional acceptance, experience a variety of emotions, and deliver immediate feedback that is observable and honest. Horses are sensitive to nonverbal stimulus and therefore provide valuable and visible lessons in nonverbal communication and body language. As social beings, horses are able to deliver insight into group roles and dynamics.

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