The drug rehab industry is growing rapidly. Every now and then, there are several new therapies that become a part of drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

Complementary therapies like art therapy, music and dance therapy, yoga, and mindfulness meditation are ways that have been made part of the drug rehabilitation only recently. Yet, due to their effectiveness, they have become widely popular and have demonstrated a considerable success rate.

When you are contemplating the decision of whether or not to join a drug rehab program, your opinion is often clouded by what you have heard about other people’s experience and the myths that prevail pertinent to the rehab process.

Horse Therapy for RecoveryYou might have heard that alcohol rehabilitation is a highly challenging process with more pain than relief. There is no denying that it does entail pain, but it is a mandatory step towards improving your own health and life. You cannot expect to overcome your long-practiced addiction without some discomfort.

Less discussed, however, are the levels of support offered throughout the process, and the various creative ways of cognitive behavioral therapy that help lead you back to a brighter life. People find these therapies beneficial in developing coping mechanisms and gaining control over their addiction. Equine therapy is one of them.

Including animals in medical treatment is not a new concept, in fact it has been utilized for quite some time now. Drug rehab specialists have begun using horses to help alcohol addicts find sobriety. Equine-assisted therapy allows you to be near a horse in a safe and therapeutic setting.

The trained rehab specialist helps you connect with the horse on an emotional level. Horses have been used in the process of recovery for humans of all ages. They are found effective in treating conditions like depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic disorder. Equine therapy has been found effective in promoting personal growth and development in children, teenagers, and adults alike.

Alcohol addiction is often instigated by one of the mentioned mental disorders. You are likely to be inclined toward alcoholism if you find it extremely difficult to deal with a build-up of negative emotions. Most of the time, patients are unaware of their mental illness and don’t realize that is what is fueling their addiction. This gets diagnosed during the medical examination and is referred to as a co-occurring condition.

Equine-assisted therapy can be highly effective in treating mental health conditions, while stages like medical detox help overcome your physical dependency on alcohol.

The Effectiveness of Equine Therapy

Equine therapy is a lesser known complementary practice carried throughout the recovery process. This is partly because of the fact that no research in addiction treatment has been focused on this form of therapy. Therefore, there is no established evidence on how equine therapy is effective in the treatment of alcoholism specifically.

However, other evidence suggests that horse-based therapy is effective in reducing anxiety levels in patients and improving their patience. As most know, violent behavior is often associated with alcoholism. Equine therapy, in some studies, has demonstrated significant improvement in anxiety levels of people with a history of violent behavior.

The hardest thing for alcoholics to do during recovery is become comfortable and open with the addiction therapists. Equine therapy helps reduce negative emotions and supports addicts in becoming more at ease in the rehab environment. Working with animals can reduce stress substantially, and helps patients relax. This aids in providing patients with more focus and energy to dedicate to the recovery process.

Equine therapy is not a standalone technique for recovering from alcoholism. It is highly effective when used as a complementary strategy alongside a long-term treatment program. Alcoholics will need to undergo medical detox and counseling sessions along with equine therapy to completely recover. This holistic approach is necessary for healing the mind and spirit.

What to Expect in Equine Therapy?

Alcoholism is not just a physical dependency on alcohol. It is a complicated mental health condition that requires much more than simply quitting your drinking practice. You must develop the ability to identify the emotions and behaviors that lead you to drinking. You must also learn to manage these feelings in a positive manner that promotes a sober lifestyle. Equine therapy can help you cope.

Equine therapy can take place in groups and the sessions are held either daily or several times a week. You will be assisted by a medical professional with expertise in mental health and highly trained in animal-assisted therapy.

You will be expected to care for and tend to the horse. This includes learning how to groom them, harness them, and clean the stalls. The benefit of working physically on horses is that it will help you develop a focus on a productive task. This will minimize your inclination towards unhealthy habits like drinking.

You will also be expected to practice your cognitive skills. You will be interacting with the horses a lot, so you will have to work on observing their physical movements to understand the reasons behind their actions. This will keep your mind active and observant at all times, and also compel you to change your own behavior accordingly.

As an alcoholic, it can be a common occurrence for you to shy away from communicating with another human being. Alcohol and illicit drugs have the tendency to lower your self-esteem and confidence, compelling you to hide behind your addiction.

Indulging in equine therapy can help you regain lost abilities and self-confidence. It can help you build a trusting relationship in a safe and stable environment. You can connect with the horses on an emotional level and work together in a completely relaxed atmosphere. This connection can serve as the foundation for maintaining sobriety.

Scottsdale Recovery Center offers equine therapy to its patients in a safe and maintained environment to help them overcome their dependency on alcohol. Our mission is to utilize every possible opportunity to make the lives of our clients better and bring them towards a healthier, brighter and more productive future. Contact us today to learn about our other services and how you can benefit from them.


Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.