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Brief History of Equine-Assisted Therapy

Brief History of Equine-Assisted Therapy

Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) has a relatively recent history, dating back only to the mid-20th century. Here is a brief overview of the history of EAT:


The first documented use of horses in therapeutic settings was in the 1970s when organizations like the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH) were founded. At this time, horseback riding was the primary method of therapeutic intervention.


In the 1990s, EAT became more widespread and expanded beyond just horseback riding therapy. The use of horses was found to be beneficial for individuals with mental health disorders, developmental disabilities, and physical disabilities.


The 2000s saw a growth in EAT programs around the world. In the United States, organizations like the Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association (EFMHA) were founded to establish standards of practice and ethics for professionals working in EAT.


EAT is recognized as a specialized form of therapy that utilizes the unique qualities of horses to help individuals with various challenges. It is used in various settings, including mental health clinics, schools, and rehabilitation centers. EAT is also used to treat PTSD, addiction, and trauma.


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