Equine Facilitated Mental Health.
What Do These Riders Have in Common?
A young veteran recovering from injuries sustained in Iraq learns to ride, assisted by a kind horse and two sidewalkers. He has fun while regaining his balance, coordination, and lifting his spirits. The bond with his horse is helping him deal with his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
A disorder that occurs among survivors of severe environmental stress such as a tornado, an airplane crash, or military combat. Symptoms include anxiety, insomnia, flashbacks, and nightmares. and the life changes resulting from his severe injuries.
A woman newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis gains a new sense of control as she learns to control her horse. Weekly riding sessions help to increase her confidence and assertiveness, as she learns to be the leader as she rides. She benefits physically and emotionally from her weekly riding sessions, and realizes she can still enjoy life and has a lot for which to live.
Howdy! I'm a cowboy! An eighty-year-old man with developmental disabilities developmental disabilities (DD),
n.pl the pathologic conditions that have their origin in the embryology and growth and development of an individual. DDs usually appear clinically before 18 years of age. and mobility issues smiles broadly as he greets his horse at the mounting block A Mounting block, horse block, or in Scots a Loupin'-on-stane is an assistance for mounting and dismounting a horse or cart, especially for the young, elderly or infirm. They were especially useful for women riding pillion. They began to fall into disuse in about 1790. . He trades in his favorite cowboy hat for a helmet and slowly climbs the stairs with assistance. Riding his horse is the highlight of this man's week. He reminds the staff once again that he is a cowboy and walks off confidently with freedom borrowed from his horse's legs.
A woman who was battered in a violent relationship works with a horse on the ground. As she learns how to understand horse behavior Horse behavior is best understood from the perspective that horses are prey animals with a well-developed fight-or-flight instinct. Their first response to a threat is to flee, although they are known to stand their ground and defend themselves or their offspring in cases where and body language, and how to safely lead a horse, this woman also learns how to set boundaries and create safety for herself. She learns how to say stop it to a pushy push·y
adj. push·i·er, push·i·est
Disagreeably aggressive or forward.
pushi·ly adv. horse and to the pushy people in her life.
A group of small boys practices teamwork, taking turns and concentrating as they boost each other up onto the vaulting pony. Each of these boys has been diagnosed with ADHD Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Definition
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a developmental disorder characterized by distractibility, hyperactivity, impulsive behaviors, and the inability to remain focused on tasks or and has great difficulty waiting and standing still. So the vaulting instructor keeps the boys moving and focused by changing activities frequently. She understands their difficulties and sets up the vaulting lesson so the boys will succeed, have fun, and stay out of trouble.
Stinkin' thinkin'! Peer pressure! Dishonest! A group of teens is learning to ride horses while naming obstacles to maintaining their sobriety from drugs and alcohol. It's a group exercise to practice directional control on horseback on the back of a horse; mounted or riding on a horse or horses; in the saddle.
See also: Horseback and help the teens to plan relapse prevention strategies at the same time. A psychotherapist psy·cho·ther·a·pist
An individual, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, psychiatric nurse, or psychiatric social worker, who practices psychotherapy. and NARHA NARHA North American Riding for the Handicapped Association certified riding instructor A riding instructor is a person whose job it is to teach methods of horse riding (and also horse care) to beginners and improve the intermediate and advanced rider's style and technique. are working together to help the teens simultaneously learn how to ride horses and how to live clean and sober lives.
Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy or Learning
What do these scenarios have in common? All of these individuals enjoy working with horses and are improving their lives in the company of horses. They are all participating in Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP EFP Explosively Formed Penetrator
EFP Electronic Field Production
EFP Explosively Formed Projectile
EFP Exempted Fishing Permit
EFP Environmental Farm Planning (Canada)
EFP Exempted Fishing Permits ) or Learning (EFL EFL - Extended Fortran Language ) programs at a barn near you! Their instructors, coaches, and therapists are members of the Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association (EFMHA EFMHA Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association ), a section of NARHA (North American Riding for the Handicapped Association North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) is a non-profit organization based in Denver, Colorado that promotes the benefits of therapeutic horseback riding for people with physical, emotional and learning disabilities. ).
Equine Facilitated Mental Health and Learning (EFMH & L) programs and services are offered around the country and around the world by mental health professionals, educators, coaches, and equine professionals who work with persons of all ages and with almost every kind of human problem or challenge.
EFMH & L activities may benefit returning veterans and their families, children with learning disabilities, seniors coping with issues of aging, adults and children with physical disabilities, people with addictive disorders, parents learning parenting skills, and many, many other human challenges and problems.
EFMH & L activities may include mounted and unmounted work. They may also include art projects, journaling, and educational projects. EFMHA has written and field tested standards of practice for Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy. EFMHA also has written Psychosocial Safety Guidelines for all NARHA programs. These standards of practice from EFP and the Psychosocial Safety Guidelines are intended to provide physical and emotional safety for the human and equine participants, as well as guidelines for all professionals working in the field.
EFMHA defines Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) as experiential psychotherapy that includes equine(s). It may include, but is not limited to, a number of mutually respectful equine activities such as handling, grooming, longeing longeing
lungeing. , riding, driving, and vaulting. EFP is facilitated by a licensed/credentialed mental health professional working with an appropriately trained equine professional. Although EFP may encompass many different activities, the activities themselves are not the goal. Rather, these activities assist reaching the psychotherapy goals set by the mental health professional and the client.
Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) is an educational approach that includes equine facilitated activities incorporating the experience of equine/human interaction in an environment of learning or self-discovery. EFL encourages personal exploration of feelings and behaviors to help promote human growth and development. It may be conducted by a NARHA certified instructor, an educator, a coach, or a therapist with special training in partnering with horses to address mental health needs. Goals may be related to self-improvement, social interaction, increased awareness, and/or education.
If you would like to learn more about EFMHA, visit www. narha.org and click on EFMHA information at the bottom of the page; or, post your questions on the free EFMHA Listserv EFMHA-Open@yahoogroups.com.
Humans, Horses, and Health is a regular department of PALAESTRA which addresses material related to equine assisted activities. Ann Alden is Past President of EFMHA. She has a Masters Degree in Special Education and Rehabilitation and is a NARHA Certified Instructor. She is a faculty member for the EFMHA Equine Specialist Workshop and for the Adventures in Awareness internship program. Ann is co-editor of EFMHA News and has written several articles related to equine facilitated mental health and learning. Reach Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org. Martha McNiel is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a NARHA Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor. She is the Founder and Director of DreamPower Horsemanship horsemanship: see equestrianism.
Art of training, riding, and handling horses. Good horsemanship requires that a rider control the animal's direction, gait, and speed with maximum effectiveness and minimum effort. , a therapeutic horsemanship program serving children and adults with mental, emotional, and medical problems. Size is a professional member of the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists The California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) is an non-profit professional organization with approximately 30,000 members dedicated to preserving the ethical standards of Marriage and Family Therapists in California. CAMFT was founded in 1964 by Dr. (CAMFT CAMFT California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
CAMFT Colorado Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
CAMFT Connecticut Association for Marriage and Family Therapy ). She is a member of the Board of the Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association (EFMHA) and is President of the Ohlone Riders (Backcountry back·coun·try
A sparsely inhabited rural region. Horsemen of California). Martha is a regular columnist for Equestrian Network Magazine She can be reached at email@example.com. Marci Bender is a NARHA Advanced Level Certified Instructor and a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. Marci has a degree from Penn State University in Therapeutic Recreation and is an Instructor at Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center in Woodinville, WA. She also serves as the NARHA Washington State Representative, an Apprentice Site Visitor, and Associate Instructor Evaluator. Marci can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-882-1554 ext. 114. Steve McKenzie has a Master of Science in Physical Therapy from Columbia University, and is a NARHA Registered Level Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor. Steve is a Staff Therapist at Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center in Woodinville, WA. He currently serves as the Chair of the NARHA Health and Education Committee, the AHA Washington State Representative, and is an AHA Associate Faculty Member. He can be reached at steve@littlebit. org or 425-882-1554. Marci and Steve are the Department Co-editors. Jenny Nell Schulte is the Program Director at Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center in Woodinville, WA. Jenny was responsible for the content in the summer issue dealing with competition. Contact her at: ProgramDirector@LittleBit.org