Why Use Equine Assisted Programming?

Articles & Resources

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) and Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) programs incorporate horses in an experiential setting for psychotherapy, personal growth and learning. EAP and EAL use a team of trained and certified mental health and horse professionals to work with participants and with horses to achieve specific goals. The focus of EAP involves setting up ground activities involving the horses, which require the participant or group to apply certain skills such as non-verbal communication, assertiveness, creative thinking, problem solving and leadership. Sessions are intense and effective, often resulting in breakthroughs much more rapidly than other therapies or learning situations. Participants learn about themselves and others by interacting with the horses, and then discussing feelings, behaviors, and patterns. This processing component allows participants to truly integrate their experiences with their lives. EAP is a powerful and effective therapeutic approach that has an incredible impact on individuals, youth, families, and groups. The focus of EAL is similar to EAP but here the focus is on learning specific skills or attaining educational goals as defined by the individual or group, such as improved product sales for a company, leadership skills for a school group, team effectiveness and communication etc. EAP and EAL bring a new dimension by using horses, which bring their own unique energy to the session. The potential applications for both EAP and EAL are limitless! No previous experience with horses is needed to participate in any activity. Even if you’ve had bad experiences with horses, do not hesitate to enroll in any of our programs. Often, the participants with little or no experience have the greatest insight. Those daring enough to dance with horses on the ground are forever transformed.



The Power of Horses 


Like humans, horses are social animals that have defined roles within their herd. They have distinct personalities, attitudes, and moods.  An approach that works with one horse won't necessarily work with another. Horses are large and powerful, naturally intimidating to many people. Working alongside a horse, in spite of those fears, creates confidence and provides wonderful insight when dealing with other intimidating and challenging situations in life.  At times, horses seem stubborn and defiant. They also like to have fun. With all these qualities and traits, horses provide endless opportunities for metaphorical learning, an effective technique when working with even the most challenging individuals or groups. Horses require us to work, whether in caring for them or working with them. In an era when immediate gratification and the “easy way” are the norm, horses require people to be engaged in physical and mental work to be successful, a valuable lesson in all aspects of life. Most importantly, horses are finely tuned observers of even the subtlest behaviors. Instinctively, as prey animals, their survival depends on their ability to sense any underlying emotional current in their environment. Thus, they are experts at mirroring back what humans’ project through emotions and behaviors. Many complain, “This horse is stubborn. That horse doesn’t like me,” etc. The lesson is that if they change themselves, the horses respond differently.  Much of the programming focuses on non-verbal communication, and learning to be completely present in the situation. Participants learn creative thinking and problem-solving, while developing assertiveness, leadership, teamwork and relationship skills. The immediate feedback nature of working with horses builds confidence while participants rapidly progress through their goals.

Therapy Services​
  • Effective communication

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Eating disorders

  • Suicidal ideation

  • Abuse or violence

  • Trauma

  • Anger management

  • Grief and loss

  • Self discovery

  • Substance abuse and recovery

  • Relationship reparation

  • Parenting

Social Skills Training
  • ​Increase trust and confidence

  • Improve awareness and focus

  • Develop lifelong skills

  • Build strong and appropriate boundaries

  • Nuture positive relationships

  • Reduce loneliness, anxiety and feelings of isolation

  • Decrease impulsive and self destructive behavior

  • Foster creativity

Team Development
  • Team building

  • Leadership​

  • Cooperation

  • Communication​

  • Decision making

  • Group dynamics

  • Trust

  • Problem solving

  • Creativity​

EAGALA in practice part 1

​Stress Management Services
  • Veterans and families affected by PTSD

  • EMT, Police and Fire departments to facilitate healing from work related experiences 

  • Employee Assistance Programs

Additional Services
  • Riding lessons

  • Horse training

  • Event hosting

EAGALA in practice part 2

 “Horses are incredibly forgiving. They fill in places we’re not capable of filling ourselves.” 


~ Buck Brannaman