What is horse assisted psychotherapy?

Horse assisted psychotherapy (or Equine Assisted Psychotherapy; EAP) is a kind of psychotherapeutic tool in which the horse is a 'healing facilitator' in solving psychological problems. 

Equine assisted psychotherapy differs from traditional psychotherapy in many ways. Firstly, it is an outdoor activity, there are no offices, therefore we have to apply different therapeutic rules in some aspect. In traditional psychotherapy there is a therapist-patient relationship, EAP we use the healing effect  (dynamics in psychology) which is created by the horse-patient-therapist connection. Usually this therapy has the same effects as the traditional one has, or - thanks to the horse - even more (e.g. action therapy).

EAP differs from a horse riding session. The aim of the horse riding session is to improve the rider's skills. In achieving this aim, a riding instructor  uses pedagogic tools: she/he gives direct instructions and asks the rider to repeat tasks. Differently, the aim in EAP is to help the patient to reach a better functioning-level: to feel himself/herself well. By using analytical therapeutic method we let the patient choose what she/he wants, and she/he can do, try and repeat whatever is allowed with horses in a safe therapeutic setting.