Equine therapy is one of those peculiar recreational therapies that is gaining popularity. Medical health professionals are increasingly recommending it to people suffering from a wide range of mental and physical disorders.
Equine therapy or therapeutic horse riding is also popular amongst veterans who are battling with stress, depression, and PTSD. During such sessions, veterans are either made to mount on a horse, groom them, or simply walk them.
These therapies and treatments calm the veterans, make them aware of their emotions, and teach them how to be present at the moment. All these further assists them in leading a stress-free and addiction-free life.
Down below, we have listed a few ways in which horseback riding helps veterans.
- Equine Assisted Therapy Calms Veterans
Post-traumatic stress disorder is prevalent in veterans. PTSD presents a challenge for veterans to stay calm. In many instances, PTSD in veterans causes them to distance themselves from others, ultimately damaging their relationships. If not treated in time, PTSD can push veterans towards substance abuse.
Equine therapy or therapeutic horseback riding for veterans has shown effectiveness in emotionally stabilizing and attain sobriety.
In a traditional therapy session, the patient is always conscious of what the doctor may think of his/her thoughts or acts. This often results in unsuccessful treatment. Horses are known for being non-judgmental creatures. During equine therapy, veterans can open up to the horse can share their feelings.
Horse therapy can help veterans by offering them emotional benefits like a confidence boost, reduced stress, trust-building ability, which improves the ability to build a personal relationship.
All these benefits help in enhancing the mental health of the veteran in the long run.
- Horse Therapy Prepares Veterans for Sobriety
It is not uncommon for veterans to fall into the trap of substance abuse and alcoholism. The road to recovery from these habits is long and often very difficult.
Learning to ride a horse or gaining their confidence is also a time-taking process. This makes equine therapy very effective in treating addiction in veterans.
Taming and controlling horse asks for patience and perseverance. The process of taking care of horses also asks for dedication. Learning how to be patience helps in recovering from addiction and staying sober.
In equine therapy, a significant feature is learning to take care of horses. This teaches them to take care of themselves. Another critical characteristic of equine therapy is that the patient is in regular touch with their life, which is essential not to get overwhelmed when one gets out of the rehab center.
- Equine Therapy Helps Veterans Regain Strength
A stressful war environment makes veterans mentally weak. The mental trauma they experience while serving pushes them towards depression, stress, and addiction. But besides this, many veterans also suffer the loss of physical strength. All these contribute to the loss of confidence. Therapeutic riding for veterans plays an essential role in helping such individuals regain their lost power and boost their confidence.
Equine therapy entails the patients to take care of the horses and engage with them. The veterans are required to take care of the horses and ensure the horse is healthy. This helps in enhancing the mental and physical strength of the veterans.