Therapy Services

Equine Assisted Therapy

It has long been recognized that there is something special about the horse/human relationship. Winston Churchill famously said, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a (hu)man.” So equine assisted therapy has actually been going on for a very long time! Our program is overseen by Dr. Candace Benyei, a licensed Family therapist and a teaching Clinical Psychologist, as well as a Horse Trainer for the last 50 years.

Basically, Equine Assisted Therapy has two major classes of benefits – riding and working with horses as a form of physical therapy, and riding/working with horses as a form of mental/emotional therapy. It should be said here that we do not engage in therapeutic horse back riding for individuals who require side-walkers, a leader, and a facilitator, as that sort of work necessitates grant funding due to its considerable labor expense. Our sessions are one-on-one, plus a horse, of course.

Physical Therapy

We provide physically therapeutic riding sessions for individuals who can support themselves in the saddle but need to restore/retain/create greater core strength, balance, and motor skills. This sort of work is especially important for older persons, as well as individuals with brain injuries or Sensory Processing Disorders, where the brain/sensory apparatus needs to be retrained because the communication between the two is either unusually heightened or unusually attenuated. Because riding is a “complex physical exercise” requiring the independent use of one’s body and appendages, it actually creates new synaptic pathways in the plastic brain!

It has also been long known that the motion of the horse is particularly soothing to persons with autism, although we are only set up to work with individuals on the high end of the spectrum.

Mental/Emotional Therapy

Being prey animals, horses are exceptionally aware of their environments, very intuitive, and actually read the pictures in their handler’s/rider’s mind (actually as humans we also read other human’s minds all the time even if we are unaware of doing so, but that is a different lecture!) As such, horses in the presence of a facilitator can be great teachers, whether it is assertiveness training (and I do NOT mean a power struggle), lifting a rider out of depression, alleviating anxiety and building confidence, or enabling a handler/rider to focus.

Paying for Equine Assisted Therapy as an Alternative Therapy

Much like acupuncture, clinical massage, and a great variety of body-oriented psychotherapies not recognized by many insurance companies, you can use a Health Savings Account to pay for your Equine Assisted Therapy. If you wish to use your Health Savings Account, and do not have a prior diagnosis, you MUST have an intake session with Dr. Candace Benyei to establish that you do have an identifiable and diagnosable issue.

In certain cases for adults, Equine Assisted Therapy/Training may be deducted as a business expense for leadership training by your employer or yourself as an independent business person.