Equine-Assisted Activities & Therapies

Equine-assisted activities and therapies is the umbrella term for both equine therapy and equine activities.
Equine-assisted activities include equine-assisted learning (EAL), therapeutic riding, therapeutic driving, interactive vaulting, adaptive riding, and para-equestrian.
Equine therapy includes equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP), and hippotherapy.



*Teaching equestrian sports to individuals with disabilities.
Certified Horsemanship Association
US Para Equestrian Association
US Driving for the Disabled
World Para Reining Association
American Vaulting Association



*Using horses to facilitate client behavior and/or learning goals.
Certification Board for Equine Interaction Professionals
Human-Equine Relational Development Institute
Human-Equine Alliances for Learning
Natural Lifemanship
Parelli Natural Horsemanship



*Uses horses to facilitate mental health treatment goals. Must be a licensed mental health professional or social worker to become certified. Horsemanship skills development is not an outcome of this therapeutic intervention.
Certification Board for Equine Interaction Professionals
Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship
Human-Equine Relational Development Institute
Gestalt Equine Therapy
Natural Lifemanship



*Uses the movement of the horse to facilitate PT/OT/SLP treatment goals. Must be a licensed PT/PTA, OT/OTA, or SLP/SLPA to become certified. Horsemanship skills development is not an outcome of this therapeutic intervention.
American Hippotherapy Certification Board
American Hippotherapy Association



*The use of horsemanship instruction to meet treatment goals (cognitive, physical, emotional)of individuals with disabilities.
Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship



Burton, L. E., Qeadan, F., & Burge, M. R. (2019). Efficacy of equine-assisted psychotherapy in veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 17(1), 14–19. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joim.2018.11.001

Collier, V., Rothwell, E., Vanzo, R., & Carbone, P. S. (2015). Initial investigation of comfort levels, motivations, and attitudes of volunteers during therapeutic recreation programs. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 49(3), 207–219.

Germain, S. M., Wilkie, K. D., Milbourne, V. M. K., & Theule, J. (2018). Animal-assisted psychotherapy and trauma: A meta-analysis. Anthrozoos, 31(2), 141–164. https://doi.org/10.1080/08927936.2018.1434044

Goodwin, B. J., Hawkins, B. L., Townsend, J. A., Van Puymbroeck, M., & Lewis, S. (2017). Therapeutic riding and children with autism spectrum disorder: An application of the theory of self-efficacy. American Journal of Recreation Therapy, 15(4), 41. https://doi.org/10.5055/ajrt.2016.0118

Hallberg, L. (2018). The Clinical Practice of Equine-Assisted Therapy. New York: Routledge.

Johnson, R. A., Albright, D. L., Marzolf, J. R., Bibbo, J. L., Yaglom, H. D., Crowder, S. M., Harms, N. (2018). Effects of therapeutic horseback riding on post-traumatic stress disorder in military veterans. Military Medical Research, 5(1), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40779-018-0149-6

Lentini, J. A., & Knox, M. S. (2015). Equine-Facilitated psychotherapy with children and adolescents: An update and literature review. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 10(3), 278–305. https://doi.org/10.1080/15401383.2015.1023916

Malinowski, K., Yee, C., Tevlin, J. M., Birks, E. K., Durando, M. M., Pournajafi-Nazarloo, H., … McKeever, K. H. (2018). The effects of equine assisted therapy on plasma cortisol and oxytocin concentrations and heart rate variability in horses and measures of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, 64, 17–26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jevs.2018.01.011

Malkin, M. J., Lloyd, L. F., & Gerstenberger, D. (2011). Benefits of therapeutic horseback riding for an adolescent female with traumatic brain injury. American Journal of Recreation Therapy, 10(2), 17–28.

Meola, C. C. (2016). Addressing the needs of the millennial workforce through equine assisted learning. Journal of Management Development, 35(3), 294–303. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMD-08-2015-0110

Shapley, K. L., Flynn, P. F., & Raven, S. (2018). Therapeutic riding centers : Unexpected benefits. American Journal of Recreation Therapy, 17(3), 9–14. https://doi.org/10.5055/ajrt.2018.0163

Trzmiel, T., Purandare, B., Michalak, M., Zasadzka, E., & Pawlaczyk, M. (2019). Equine assisted activities and therapies in children with autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review and a meta-analysis. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 42(November 2018), 104–113. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2018.11.004

Voelpel, P., Escallier, L., Fullerton, J., & Abitbol, L. (2018). Interaction Between Veterans and Horses: Perceptions of Benefits. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 56(5), 7–10. https://doi.org/10.3928/02793695-20180305-05

White-Lewis, S., Russell, C., Johnson, R., Cheng, A. L., & McClain, N. (2017). Equine-assisted therapy intervention studies targeting physical symptoms in adults: A systematic review. Applied Nursing Research, 38, 9–21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apnr.2017.08.002