For adults

Working with adults in equine assisted therapy is also possible. In traditional adult psychotherapy therapists give more interpretation and ask more details about the patient's feelings, emotions than in child therapy, because usually adults have better communication skills. However most of the psychological problems are connected to the dysfunction in reading out feelings and addressing (verbalizing) them (in psychology we name these processes mentalizing) or to express them properly. Equine assisted psychotherapy can be very useful for patients who has problems in the previously mentioned functions. Horses' mirroring nature, and the everyday situations given by the setting helps the therapist to detect the patient's inner world and help him/her to mentalize it. Riding on horses and working with them demands and teaches expressing feelings and wishes in a socially adaptive way. Equine assisted psychotherapy as a psychotherapeutic tool is good for treating psychological problems which haven't reached the severe psychiatric level, or as a secondary therapy, parallely with medicalization and psychiatric control. E.g. in emotional disorders (depression, maniaco-depressive disorder, dysthimia), anxiety disorders (panic, obsessive-compulsive disorders, ), somatoform problems, eating - and sleeping problems, not severe personality disorders. 

For children

In equine assisted child psychotherapy we benefit from the infants' elemental love of nature and the relationship with both the therapist and the therapeutic horse. This psychotherapeutic method can heal effectively symptoms of mental illnesses in childhood. The mental illness can be regarded as a problem in the child's normal development or a disturbance in his/her everyday functioning. Usually these are connected to the requirements of his/her age. 

  • under age 3 usually we treat disturbances in eating, sleeping or communication (speech, language)
  • From the age 3 to age 6 the child usually goes to kindergarten where he/she has to cope with an unknown social world  in separation of his/her parents. In this age we often encounter such symptoms as dysfunction in aggression-controlling, communication problems (stuttering, mutism), problems with keeping attention (in background of psychological agitation), and secretion (enuresis, defecation).
  • From the age 7 the child has to go to school where he must perform, behave and adapt well to a formal institution. In this age we usually see dysfunctions in efficiency, in fitting to institutional standards which are expressed in such symptoms as stomach-ache, headache, anxiety connected to performance, and conformity-problems. 

In the same time equine assisted therapy - similarly to action therapies - has a stimulating effect on the central nervous system. Therefore it can be efficient in treating many symptoms related to the dysfunction of this system (e.g. controlling aggression, hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, autistic disorder, etc.).