Three studies examined the benefits of an equine intervention for youth identified as being ‘atrisk’. Burgon (2011) used qualitative interviews to examine the experience of a therapeutic horsemanship program among a sample of at-risk adolescents (n = 7). The participants described increases in self-esteem, self-confidence and empathy as a result of the intervention. In this study, participants engaged in a range of equine-assisted activities (e.g. spending time with horses,
observing and discussing horse behavior and psychology, riding and horsemanship activities) across a two year period, and for varying levels of time depending on their commitment to the program. The findings of Burgon (2011) indicate that equine-assisted activities may be perceived as a beneficial intervention for at-risk youth, even without a great deal of psychotherapeutic content.
Source: Elizabeth Kendall, Annick Maujean, Christopher A. Pepping, Martin Downes, Ali Lakhani, Jason Byrne & Kym Macfarlane (2015) A systematic review of the efficacy of equine assisted interventions on psychological outcomes, European Journal of Psychotherapy & Counseling, 17:1, 57-79, DOI