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Horses and Human Health

Take the Reins Therapeutic Center Off & Running

If you're driving between Colorado City and Snyder on Texas 208 and you happen to see a woman on horseback flailing her arms and flopping her legs, don't worry.

She's fine.

"I really look like a crazy person when I get on the back of a horse," said Andrea Barefield, 24 and founder of Take the Reins Therapeutic Center, a newly launched nonprofit.

Why the spectacle? That's how she trains her horses.

EAAT Programs Available at Riding Therapy Center of Victoria in Texas

Riding Therapy Center of VictoriaEquine assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) are treatments that incorporate equines in an equine environment with rehabilitative goals that are related to the rider's needs and abilities. EAAT promotes emotional, physical, social and cognitive growth in people with a variety of diagnoses.

Horses & Human Health Research Foundation Accepting Grant Proposals

Up to $100,000 is up for grabs for researchers investigating the impact of horses on humans, thanks to the Horses and Humans Research Foundation (HHRF).

Past grant funding opportunities have been limited to $50,000, but the successful completion of HHRF’s 10-Year Anniversary Research Funding Campaign enabled the foundation to double the size of grant funding available for this grant cycle.

Equines For Freedom Program Helping to Fight PTSD

We all have the utmost respect and appreciation for our veterans, the brave men and women who fight for our protection and freedom.

There is a wonderful program called Equines For Freedom. Organized in February 2015, EFF is located on the campus of Marley’s Mission in Newton Township.

This therapeutic program brings horses, humans and the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Process together.

Study Confirms Horses Can Read Human Emotions

For the first time psychologists from Sussex University have shown that horses are able to distinguish human facial expressions showing different emotions.

Sussex University researchers compiled a dictionary of horse expressions last year. They identified 17 distinct facial movements in horses which may be manipulated by the horse to represent different emotions and intentions. The raising of eyelids, the pull of mouth corners — all these small gestures can be indicative of underlying mental states, just as they are in humans.

Stanford's 'Medicine & Horsemanship' Class Helps Doctors Connect With Patients

Since 2006, medical students at Stanford have been working with horses to develop a greater awareness of the subtleties of self-presentation and communication that are necessary for the physician-patient relationship. The class, titled “Medicine and Horsemanship,” draws on core principles of the Natural Horsemanship, a philosophy of training horses made famous by real-life horse whisperer Buck Brannaman.

Stanford's Connected Horse Project Studies Early Dementia Treatments

As a kid growing up in rural Minnesota, I spent many of my waking hours searching for a reason to be near the five horses that roamed the 40 acres behind our house. Their methodical munching and tail-swishing put me at ease and learning how to ride a 1,200-pound animal that could easily wipe me off on a fence post taught me much of what I know about courage and persistence.

San Diego Animal Center Offers Therapeutic Riding Program

For Gretchen Davis, horseback riding is more than a recreational activity: It’s a treatment option that helps people with disabilities become stronger, healthier and more independent.

Davis is program manager of the therapeutic riding program at Helen Woodward Animal Center, where she teaches kids and adults with autism, muscular disorders and other conditions to ride specially trained horses.

Horses That Heal Doc to Screen at Coronado Island Fest

Horses that Heal is an 8 minute documentary that examines the impact of horses in healing wounded warriors returning from service, as well as local children with disabilities. The interviews of the wounded vets are particularly emotional, as they describe what they experienced at war before coming to Cornerstone. 

Pilot Studies Underway to Formally Assess Human/Equine Therapies

NMSU Studying Equine TherapiesEquine-assisted psychotherapy is known to help people address mental and behavioral health issues, but there remains little evidence-based research to prove it.