The Therapeutic Relationship between Horses and Teenagers

Therapy can come in many forms. One on one discussion, group therapy, artistic expression, and self-reflection are just a few of the ways that young women can cope psychological and emotional barriers and trauma. With the help from a skilled instructor, horses can also be the catalyst that softens hearts. We at Greenbrier Academy for Girls have developed a unique program that utilizes the healing relationship between horses and teenage girls.

In Pence Springs, West Virginia, Greenbrier Academy for Girls uses horses to help our students find resources to move through impediments to growth and enhance their lives, much like the work being done with veterans as discussed in this article from Wral.com. Zach Potter writes, “The horse teaches you to be in the moment. You cannot be in the past or the future. It’s about aligning the mind, body and spirit.” We utilize horses in a similar fashion.

Students can use the horses as a kind of emotional mirror, using the body language of horses to influence their own. In addition, the girls practice communication with the horses to better their social skills. All of these activities help make the healing process smoother and establish a beautiful relationship with an incredible animal. The more the students interact with the horses, the more confidence they build. Before long, they become better in a wide variety of skills, ranging from leadership to using positive coping strategies, making the transition to college and careers smoother.

Equine Therapy Programs can be pivotal in helping those battling physical, emotional and mental distress. Through horses, one can improve ones health psyche, and for that, we at Greenbrier Academy for Girls would encourage you to read further into our program and equine therapy in general. We are excited that our students and horses continue to build their positive relationship!