Riding & Equine Assisted Therapy
The growing evidence toward to efficacy of animal assisted therapies, including the use of horses, shows how this approach can improve well-being, social interaction, occupational and psychological functioning.
Riding and Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) provides a range of psychological benefits toward the improvement of well-being for all, as well as those with specific requirements. Island Equus helps to facilitate behaviour change through tailored sessions with the individual or in small group sessions.

There is a growing body of evidence for animal assisted therapy and the use of horses. Shultz et al (2007) found an increase in social, occupational and psychological functioning, whilst in a 2006 study, Kaiser et al found a decrease in behavioural problems in children. Bowlby (1969) also suggests that attachment with animals can often lead to improved psychological health.

Additional health and wellbeing effects are found, especially psychological benefits when exercise involves interaction with the outdoor environment, nature and animals (Barton et al, 2011). Mackinnon (1995) found EAT to show significant improvements in confidence, self-perception and motivation in children with cerebral palsy. Riding may result in improved physical conditioning of adults and children with specific physical disabilites (Bronson et al, 2010).
It has been noted that Looked after children (LAC) have been particularly responsive to EAT. Most LAC have a chronic or disabiling mental health issue despite early recognition and supportive care settings and there is a need for more effective interventions (Blower et al, 2004) to help improve outcomes. LAC are particularly vulnerable in terms of poor health and mental health outcomes (Crocker & Scott, 2006).
EAT is particularly helpful to people with history of traumatic events,
living in situations with high levels of family con- flict, low
self-esteem, depression and anxiety. This form of therapy can be particularly useful for those in care as well as any individual
struggling with such difficul- ties. Working with horses can help those who would not choose to participate in or where traditional talking therapies have not been successful. We can create a bespoke programme to
meet the needs of the individual.

Young people may also be subject to psychosocial factors such as low self-efficacy, social phobias, poor academic achievement, emotional based school refus- ing, eating disorders and self-harming. These difficulties may be observed at home or in school as behavioural issues, lack of motivation, confidence or self-esteem. Young people may fear learning and be afraid of failure.

As well as those with emotional and behavioural difficulties, people with learning difficulties, physical disability, Autism and Aspergers can benefit from riding and therapetic horsemanship.
Island Equus works with a range of clients in all age groups using a variety of activities both in the saddle and on the ground.