Equine Therapy - what to expect
Here are some pointers you may wish to share with your child/pupil or invite them to read themselves before coming to an equine assisted psychotherapy session at Track Clinic.
1. Your session will take place in a field with our small herd of therapy horses. The horses are free to respond to you instinctively (no ropes, no halters, no commands) and you are free to respond to them in whatever way seems right (no instructions, no expectations, no right or wrong way). This is not a riding or a horsemanship lesson and you can decide how close or far away you want to be from them.
2. There is no pressure to explain your situation and no need to use any words at all if you don’t want to. The facilitators will be watching the interaction that takes place and noting patterns or shifts in behaviour of the horses. We may ask you what was happening from you perspective - for example, "We noticed one of the horses kept very close to you and was away from the others. I wonder what was happening?" - but you need only answer if you wish to. Choosing not to talk does not disrupt the therapeutic process and your ability to improve your situation.
3. There is no need to have an interest or any experience of horses. We work with horses because they can detect emotion at a level that humans often can’t. They will know how you are feeling before you’ve walked through the gate and they’ll make it their business to bring it to your attention and help release it accordingly.
4. We keep everything that happens in a session confidential. If your parents/carers want to know what happened in the session you also don’t need to feel the pressure to talk about anything. We will always ask parents to focus on the changes that are happening outside of the sessions to get a read of their true effectiveness.
5. Sometimes just one, two or three hourly sessions is enough to improve your condition or find relief, sometimes blocks of 6 sessions are necessary. Sessions last for one hour and are booked at the same time and day each week. We review progress at the end of a block of sessions and you can be part of this process if you wish.
6. The first session can sometimes feel a bit strange, surprising or just so unlike anything you’ve done before. All you need to do is trust that this reaction is important and be open to exploring what starts to emerge for you from session to session.
7. On a final note, our therapy horses live with a an unlikely herd member, an alpaca, who may wish to be part of your session should you want him to.
If you want to ask anything before you come for your first session you can email firstname.lastname@example.org