Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy and Learning

Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) is a hands-on approach to therapy incorporating the horse, a mental health professional, an equine specialist, and the patient in a four-point collaborative effort to facilitate behavioral and emotional healing. Because of its intensity and effectiveness, it is typically considered a short term process (2-3 months). Equine Facilitated Learning (EAL) addresses a student’s learning goals through horse-related activities, and often works toward the student’s personal exploration of feelings and behaviors. The equine specialist and educator cooperate to best achieve these learning goals.


Why use horses for EFP and EAL?

Naturally intimidating to many, horses are large and powerful. This creates a natural opportunity to overcome fear and develop confidence. Working alongside a horse, in spite of those fears, creates confidence and provides wonderful insight when dealing with other intimidating and challenging situations in life. Like humans, horses are social animals with defined roles within their herds. They have distinct personalities, attitudes, and moods; an approach that works with one horse won’t necessarily work with another. Most importantly, horses mirror human body language. Many complain, “This horse is stubborn. That horse doesn’t like me,” etc. The lesson is that if the clients change themselves, the horses respond differently. Horses are honest and their responses are immediate, making them especially powerful communicators. 



  • Study Skills

  • Reading, Writing, Math

  • Listening Skills

  • Motor Skills

  • Social, Emotional and Behavioral Issues

  • Self-Awareness

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • PTSD

  • ADHD

  • Substance Use Disorders

  • Grief

  • Eating Disorders

  • Trauma

Equine Assisted Learning

A horse is a horse and no one can talk to a horse, of course, unless that horse is at ETP and you’re learning new things about yourself, others, and society in general. Then the horse is right there with you—an adept teacher and fellow student rolled into one. With Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) students work with real-life issues using a wide range of activities and by partnering with the horse. As prey animals, horses are finely attuned to their environment and react immediately and with honesty, effectively short-cutting the student’s path to social emotional learning.

Who benefits from EFP?

EFP treats a variety of mental health and human development needs including behavioral issues, ADHD, PTSD, substance use disorders, eating disorders, grief and loss, anger issues, depression, anxiety, trauma, relationship problems, and communication needs. Treatment is usually covered by most insurances.

What should clients expect?

Clients entering the EFP program will begin the process with an in-office comprehensive psychiatric evaluation to ensure a good equine therapeutic fit. Participants in EAL will have curriculum put in place by their educator and the equine specialist.  The goal of both programs is to incorporate equine activities into a client’s plan and to then process (or discuss) feelings, behaviors, and newly learned lessons. Ultimately, the goal of these combined therapies—whether in EFP or EAL-- is to empower and change peoples’ lives.

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We do not currently have a mental health provider that is able to provide EFP. If you are a mental health provider or a patient of a provider that is willing to become involved with our program, please contact us. If you are interested in becoming involved in EFP or EAL, please reach out! 

Our phone number is 419-657-2700 and email is programs@etpfarm.org