Horse Therapy Program Helps People Improve Mental Health During The Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on people’s mental health, and it continues to do so. People around the world are searching for ways to decrease anxiety and depression and overall improve their well-being.

As it turns out, horses may play a key role in helping people improve mental health, especially during the pandemic.

Equine therapy is nothing new, but it seems more people are taking advantage of it – and benefiting from it – due to the stresses of the pandemic.

Photo: Pixabay/Here and now, unfortunately, ends my journey on Pixabay

According to Fox News, Sabine Niederberghaus saw the increase of mentally stressed and burned out people around her and realized equine therapy could really help.

Sabine had started La Esperanza Ranch in Topanga Canyon, California back in 1994, but it wasn’t until recently that she started her Equine Leadership Program.

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In the program, Sabine matches people with horses. The people work with their assigned horse to build confidence and help soothe depression, anxiety, trauma, or other needs.

Photo: flickr/Alan Levine

Speaking with FOX News, Sabine said, “There is CEOs that have a problem getting across to their team members, composers that have a problem concentrating on their music, or actors and actresses that’s lost the confidence in front of camera. And it’s all because they have lost touch to themselves. And the horses are the ones that bring them back there.”

According to The Anxiety Treatment Center, equine therapy can “promote physical, occupational, and emotional growth in persons suffering from ADD, Anxiety, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Dementia, Depression, Developmental Delay, Genetic Syndromes (such as Down Syndrome), traumatic brain injuries, behavioral issues, abuse issues, and many other mental health problems.”

Photo: Pixahive/Sudeep Chhetri

Beyond that, it can help boost confidence, encourage clearer communication, deeper trust, better social skills, and help teach boundaries.

“They are a mirror to you when you come and you work with them, I can tell within thirty seconds where you’re at,” Sabine said to Fox News.

Sabine is seeing a growing interest in her program. You can find out more on her website or follow her on Instagram, @equineleadershipprogram.

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