The Best Therapy

November 23, 2016
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Animals big and small are used for therapy. Whatever therapy this may be animals usually are involved. Dogs, rabbits and even cats are used to help the patient's mental status and increase joy. Horses are also used for this work. Most people don’t know horses can be used for therapy. But all over the world horses have been used as therapy animals for veterans, autistic children etc.  Because of the attitude the horses have, the training the horses learned already, the training that the human learns by being with the horse, by the effects of the horse therapy, this will prove to people who think that horses won’t work for therapy or people who think that other animals will work better that horse therapy is the best therapy.

The first point to show that horses are the best therapy animals to show people who don’t think that horses are the best therapy is by the horse's attitude and how they act and react to their patients. The horses are well trained and mirror the attitude of the person they're working with. This behavior helps the therapist notice if the patient is nervous, scared, angry or having a flashback of some sort.   "The horse is the perfect mirror, they are very emotional beings; we're only starting to realise how intelligent they are," said therapy counsellor Gabrielle Gardner, of Shine For Life which is a Community Interest Company (CIC) registered in England as a not-for-profit organisation where they give the opportunity to interact with horses in structured sessions on the ground, where the horses can provide amazing insights into their patients personalities and behaviour patterns. They translate the horse’s natural reactions to the body language or nonverbal messages of their clients, which then enables the person to understand and communicate their own feelings more clearly.  This quote from Sine for Life shows how horses can sense the feelings that their patient is having even if the patient seems ok, the horse will start to mimic the patient's actual feelings. Such as if the person is nervous the horse will also become nervous, and the same goes with anger, frustration and sadness. The horses have been shown to have good attitudes and react to the human to reveal how their patient is really feeling this is the first reason to show people who think horses aren’t a good therapy animal why horses are the best therapy animal.

Another point to show people who disagree that the horse is the best candidate for therapy is though the horse's training. The horse has to go through a series of different training things, but each barn is different in their process. But the Horse Channel puts it all into perspective with this quote from an interview. “Once a horse is deemed a good candidate to be on trial for a therapy program, the horse is exposed to all aspects of the riding classes. They are taught to be led in a manner that encourages the horse to walk beside the leader¹s shoulder and speed up and slow down in response to the leader¹s body language and rhythm. The horses on trial must also be exposed to various loud noises, such as music, toys and riders with enthusiasm. In addition, the horses are exposed to various assistive teaching devices, such as batons, rings, toys and flags being either handled by the volunteer or carried by the rider.” This shows how the horses are exposed to so many different items,noises and the humans body language. This really shows the people who think horses won’t work for therapy how the horse is the best therapy animal and should be used for more therapy purposes because of its training and intelligence.

Some people are scared of horses, thinking that their big size, loud noises and seemingly dull brain wouldn’t help other people as it says here in the AAC (All About Counseling) research on the topic of Equinophobia they said “Yet there are many people who are very fearful of horses, as it is a real phobia that persists among the general population.Equinophobia is the abnormal and persistent fear of horses. Those who have this phobia may experience extreme panic or anxiety at the thought of horses or being near them. Equinophobia can be debilitating and interfere with activities” But that all horses are scary and mean is a wrong assumption! The horse can help with so many different diseases, illnesses and injuries. Such as Amputees, ADD, Autism, Brain Injuries, Cerebral Palsy, Stroke, deafness, Down Syndrome, Emotional Disabilities, Multiple Sclerosis, Spinal Cord Injuries. “Working with horses can have a major physical and emotional impact on people with a wide variety of issues and disabilities”  (Path International). This shows that the horses though big have a massive effect on humans and can change a person for the better, this is why horses are the best therapy animal.

The effects and results of hose therapy is another way to prove that horses are the best therapy animal. It improves balance, the way people walk, their mental health improves how they feel confident and less fearful. They have to be aware of their surroundings so it keeps them thinking and focused, and lastly a love for the horse's turns into a love for people also. “The patient improves his/her vertical and horizontal balance, muscle tone, improves motor coordination, experiences the independent movement of the pelvis and shoulders, which are essential for enable healthy walking habits. Riding provides the same upper body sensations as walking.The patient feels a sense of general well-being, improved self-esteem and self-confidence. Overcoming the space-time domain presented by the therapy promotes thinking.The therapy promotes the development of respect, responsibility, perseverance and loving toward animals and humans” This quote shows how horse's improve the human for the better, in their walking, thinking and overall character. This is just another example how horses are the best therapy animal and should be used for therapy more!

In conclusion people who think horses don't work for therapy or people who didn't know about horses being used for therapy should consider using horses. The attitude of the horses has a massive effect on the therapy that actually takes place. The training of the horse prepares the animal for success, by making sure that the horse is used to new objects, scary scenery and different people help the horse to be ready for any patient. The horse takes the training that it has been given and uses it to train the humans to become better people and to feel better themselves. The effect and results that the horses provide for anyone who uses them are immense and amazing, this is yet another reason that horses are the best animals for therapy. These traits show that horses are the best therapy animals and should be seen as this and used for more therapy and not seen as big, scary or intimidating but as loving, kind and intelligent.

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