Research shows that Equine-Assisted Therapy is effective for treating survivors experiencing depression, anxiety, and/or trauma-related symptoms, as well as ADHD, autism, dissociative disorders, and other mental health diagnoses. In one representative study, survivors showed increased confidence, self-esteem, assertiveness, emotional regulation, and resourcefulness as a result of this form of therapy. In some cases, just a few sessions of equine therapy can produce improvement.
Furthermore, equine therapy reduces anxiety and depression through physiological changes. Studies show that animal-assisted therapy reduces cortisol, the stress hormone. In addition, spending time with animals lowers blood pressure. And it increases the release of oxytocin, a natural chemical that promotes feelings of positivity and connection.