Did you know that New Jersey is home to more than 42,500 horses? Some of the state’s most popular equines include the Haflinger Stallion and Blue Roan Quarter Horse Stallion. There’s no doubt that horses are fascinating creatures with alluring beauty. They can weigh up to one-thousand pounds and reach a staggering six feet in height. Horses are social animals with easy-going and loyal personalities. They have an excellent memory, and they cherish the relationships they make with humans. Equines have long-standing relationships with humankind – they were domesticated around 3500 BC in Central Asia. Horses remain essential to human beings in both social and work settings. The bond that humans form with horses is inarguably mutually beneficial.
Horses are unique because they crave human interaction and tell us they value our affection. Horses respond to humans by nuzzling, rubbing, and placing their heads on us. Best of all, equines don’t show aggression if adequately trained. Depending on the therapy problem, you’ll work with the same horses or various equines!
It’s clear that horses have a lot to offer, and they’re extremely valuable to humankind. Thanks to horses’ notable characteristics, many drug and alcohol centers use them in substance abuse treatment. Horses play a vital role in recovery, allowing recovering addicts to gain lifelong skills and develop healthy coping mechanisms. In addition, drug and alcohol addicts may damage personal relationships, ultimately damaging their self-esteem. New Jersey equine therapy for addiction gives recovering addicts a healthy outlet to recognize their self-worth, become productive individuals, and gain skills they can use throughout their recovery journey.
What is Equine Therapy?
New Jersey equine therapy for an addiction is a healing treatment option for those who want to bond with animals while enhancing their overall wellbeing. Nonetheless, equine therapy doesn’t require prior experience working with horses. When you hear “equine therapy,” you might think you’ll practice your horseback riding skills. However, that’s typically not the case in a New Jersey equine therapy for addiction program. Clients usually interact with the horse by stroking, grooming, and leading it. Over time, they’ll advance their skills and take on more complex tasks (i.e., circle work). Individuals can expect to form strong bonds with the equines while simultaneously developing healthy habits, boosting their confidence, and having fun. On rare occasions, you may have the opportunity to ride the horse if the rehabilitation center can accommodate it.
All licensed therapists who facilitate equine therapy have extensive experience working with horses. They’ll teach you how to tend to the animal and help you get rid of any initial nervousness. You can also openly discuss your progress and challenges with the therapist who holds the therapy session.
The Benefits of New Jersey Equine Therapy for Addiction
Individuals from all walks of life are welcome to participate in a United Recovery Project equine therapy for addiction program. Equine therapy is a calming experience that lets you put your mind at ease and wipe out thoughts of past trauma. Moreover, equine therapy isn’t what most picture when they plan to participate in a substance abuse program. Nevertheless, equine therapy provides many of the same benefits as traditional therapy and 12-step programs. Also, the horses admire the time they get to spend with clients! Not sure if equine therapy is right for you?
There are various traits you can develop in a equine therapy for addiction program:
- Better social skills
- Increased confidence and a better outlook on life
- Advanced communication skills
- A greater appreciation for animals
- Problem-solving skills
- Self-restraint and discipline
How Does Equine Therapy Work?
Humans have used horses for therapeutic purposes for thousands of years (dating back to Ancient Greece). However, equine therapy wasn’t very prevalent in American substance abuse programs until the second half of the 20th century. Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) helped jump-start equine therapy in North America. PATH is a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members providing equine therapy to over 53,000 men, women, and children. The organization aims to offer “safe and effective” therapeutic horseback riding in the United States and Canada.
Equine therapy isn’t available at all treatment centers, but that doesn’t mean it’s not practical. When you start substance abuse treatment at United Recovery Project, you’ll meet with a licensed therapist for an initial evaluation. During this evaluation, the therapist will discuss your history of drug and alcohol abuse and your long-term goals. You’ll also have the opportunity to voice your therapy preferences. At the onset of treatment, you’ll undergo medical or holistic detox, enabling you to flush substances from your system. After detox, you’ll be treated in either an outpatient or inpatient setting, depending on your individual needs.
Like our four-legged pets, horses don’t judge us for what we’ve done in the past. These graceful animals love us unconditionally. And there’s no doubt that unconditional love is a vital part of recovery. In addition, equines display their affection in various ways, allowing you to see your value and build confidence.