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Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy



"There's something about the outside of a horse that's good for the inside of a man". 

~ Winston Churchill


The Eagala Model is a team approach that includes a licensed, credentialed Mental Health Professional, a qualified Equine Specialist, and horses working together with the client in an arena at all times.

When inside the arena, all the work is done on the ground with the horses front and center, deliberately unhindered and never ridden, and allowed to interact with the client as they wish. This creates the space for the client, with the support of the professional facilitators, to reflect, project, and make deep connections.


The EAGALA model of equine therapy is a type of experiential therapy that involves working with horses in a therapeutic setting. The acronym EAGALA stands for Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association, which is a nonprofit organization that sets standards for equine-assisted therapy programs.

In the EAGALA model, a team of a licensed mental health professional, an equine specialist, and one or more horses work together to provide a safe and supportive environment for clients to explore their emotions, behaviors, and relationships. The therapy sessions take place on the ground, without riding, and focus on nonverbal communication and interactions with the horses.

During a typical EAGALA session, clients may participate in activities such as grooming, leading, and observing the horses while the therapist and equine specialist facilitate discussions and reflections on the clients' experiences. The horse's behavior and responses to the clients' actions can serve as a metaphor for the clients' feelings and behavior patterns, allowing for insights and growth.

EAGALA model equine therapy has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of mental health and behavioral issues, including anxiety, depression, trauma, and addiction. It can also be helpful for individuals and groups seeking personal growth and development.


It's important to note that not all therapists or equine therapy programs use the EAGALA model, and that the effectiveness of any therapy depends on many factors, including the client's readiness and willingness to engage in the process. Clients should always choose a therapist or program that aligns with their values and goals and should seek out licensed and qualified professionals for their mental health care.

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