Wellspring provides Horse Assisted Psycho-therapy (HAP). Learn new life lessons, find healing from traumas, or develop new relationship skills, while enjoying the relaxed environment of horses.
Why we use horses for therapy:
Sensitive. They read our emotional states, sense our heartbeats, feel our energy levels and then relate to us accordingly.
Social. They want to know who is the leader, they want safety, and they want relationship. This gives us endless opportunities to practice our skills of providing these things, with instant feedback and rewarding relationships.
Live in the present. They respond to what we do now, not what we did in the past or may do in the future. They give us opportunities to change and to practice new behaviors.
Honest and big. We can’t manipulate horses with our words. They do not lie to us, and we cannot lie to them. They give us honest feedback that we can apply to our lives.
How you can learn from our horses:
1. To Improve Relationships
Equine Assisted Psycho-therapy for Relationships (EAPR) includes the client, an Equine Specialist and a Therapist. The client works un-mounted (on the ground) with a “loose” horse (no bridles or reins). With the encouragement and direction from a nearby therapist and Equine Specialist, the client practices his/her relationship skills with a horse. Clients may identify relationship patterns and their usefulness while working with a horse, translating to improving human relationships.
2. To Resolve Negative Life Events
Trauma Focused Equine Assisted Psycho-therapy (TF-EAP) also includes the client, an Equine Specialist and a Therapist. Utilizing specialized trauma therapy, and EMDR protocols, clients experience healing and resolve negative life experiences while riding a horse, with the therapist walking along side.
3. To Self-Regulate
Self-regulation means the ability to stay in control of one’s breathing, state of calm, and choices of behaviors by accessing all parts of the brain. These skills and neural-network patterns can be readily learned, if intentionally addressed, and allow a person to function out of his/her higher level “thinking brain” not just the reactive and survival parts. Working with horses offers a variety of opportunities to become aware of dysregulation and to practice self-regulation skills.
4. To Develop Leadership Skills
Through teaching, group demonstration and live practice with horses, leaders can learn powerful principles such as “Pressure & Release” to positively influence those around them.
5. To Build Life Skills
Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) encompasses the many opportunities that horses can provide for learning and practicing life skills, such as overcoming fears, problem solving, and building self-confidence.
Costs and Scheduling.
HAPR and TF-EAP sessions cost $125-$210 per session (about an hour)*. If your health insurance has coverage for mental health services, the therapy portion of these costs can be billed to your insurance.
Sessions may be scheduled through our main office number with any of our trained HAP therapists.
Attire. You should wear closed-toed shoes to the barn for safety, boots if possible but tennis shoes will do. And don't forget your sunscreen and/or a hat.
Our Training. Wellspring’s professional therapists train in Horse Assisted Psycho-therapy through Natural Lifemanship from Spirit Reins in Austin, Texas. www.spiritreins.org . See video of their program.
*HAP is not eligible for financial aid funds.