Horses Are Helping Patients Overcome Eating Disorders

Why Does Equine Therapy Work?

Why do so many of our patients find working with horses to be such an essential part of their healing process? Maybe it’s because horses offer them unconditional acceptance. It is not typically in a horse’s nature to be judgmental or critical. So, when working with them, patients are finally able to shed their fears of not being good enough, and their fears of being imperfect.

Remuda horses are gentle, affectionate creatures who display a natural curiosity about the world around them. A patient may come into the program with a fear of horses or fear related to other areas such as commitment or responsibility. As the bond between patient and horse develops, these fears and other feelings of anger or inadequacy often dissipate. What’s more, as a patient cares for a horse, it helps reduce her focus on herself. Spending time together, whether riding, grooming or communicating on any level, the two develop a relationship of mutual respect and trust.

Working with these large animals also gives our patients an opportunity to learn healthy new skills. Each patient discovers how to practice effective communication and achieve the proper response from her horse.

One success builds on another and in no time, her feelings of self-worth, confidence, and effectiveness return.

Equine Therapy at The Meadows Ranch

Once a The Meadows Ranch patient is deemed medically stable, she is able to attend equine therapy sessions led by an Equine Specialist and a Mental Health professional. These shared equine sessions provide meaningful and life-changing experiences. The session can be as unique as each person, as they shares aspects about their perception of the events. In equine therapy, we build an emotionally safe environment by encouraging each person to share their own reality and what it means to them.

Rather than instructing or directing solutions, we allow our clients to experiment, problem-solve, take risks, employ creativity and find their own solutions that work best for them. That’s because we believe that all people can find the best personal solutions for themselves when given the opportunity to discover them. The same is true whether completing their equine activity or managing their eating disorder.

Treatment for Eating Disorders

Equine therapy is just one of many ways we teach women and young girls how to cope in their daily lives and feel confident and at ease without resorting to dangerous eating disorder behaviors. We take a multifaceted approach tailored to the needs of each individual patient. Types of treatment include individual and group therapy, culinary training and nutritional counseling, trauma work, and optional Christian programming, and much more. Call us today to find out how we can help you or a loved one 866-390-5100.

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