Equine therapy is one form of substance abuse treatment that may not be offered by many rehabs, but this therapy can be highly effective during addiction recovery. Many people who have substance abuse issues also have a wide range of trust issues as well. These individuals may have been abused or abandoned in the past so they are fearful of trusting others as a result. Equine therapy can help overcome this distrust and reach the individual on a deeper level, providing a sense of companionship and showing that it is possible to trust another living creature once more. Horses are used because these animals are often gentle and intuitive, and they can be terrific animals for anyone to interact with.
Substance abuse treatment programs that offer equine therapy during addiction recovery may be more expensive, but these programs are also usually more effective and have a lower relapse rate than community or charitable rehabs with very limited services and treatment options. Luxury rehabs and high end Christian recovery programs may offer equine therapy as part of the treatment program, but many facilities do not have the financial resources to offer this component. When this therapy is combined with anger management, nutritional counseling, individual therapy, and other treatment options then the chance for a successful addiction recovery is much higher. As the patient interacts with the horses the individual learns to trust once more, and trust is an important building block to a permanent recovery. Without trust a relapse is far more likely, and this can mean additional rounds of substance abuse treatment in the future.