Skip to main content

Table 3 Detailed descriptions of various equine-assisted interventions involved

From: Equine-assisted interventions for veterans with service-related health conditions: a systematic mapping review

Component Description
Body language and communication Verbal and nonverbal language and body language towards horses or humans
Ride the horse Mounted activities including walking, trotting, cantering, steering, riding around an obstacle course, etc.
Groundwork Unmounted activities that involve leading the horse with or without the halter, work in the round pen, leading the horse around an obstacle course, ground exercises such as stopping, turning, backing up, etc.
Groom the horse Grooming, bathing, picking hooves
Get to know the horse Observing the horse in the pasture or stall, intentional time spent becoming acquainted with the horse
Matching horse and participant Intentional matching, either participant chooses horse or the instructor/therapist matches horse to the participant
Care for the horse Feeding, cleaning stalls, turning a horse out or in from pasture, barn work related to horse care or article specifically referencing caring for a horse
Social activities Intentional activities to promote socialization such as sharing a meal with other veterans or pairing a veteran volunteer with a participant
Mounted exercises Participant completes stretching and strengthening exercises while riding the horse or rides in different positions (sitting backwards, sideways, or prone)
Tack the horse Activities involving putting tack (bridle, saddle pad, saddle) on or untacking
Safety behaviors Activities focused on safety around the horses
Connections to daily life Relating concepts learned from activities with the horse to the participant’s daily life, this could be through conversation or metaphor
Family participation Spouses or family partners participated during the session
Integration of therapeutic practices Implementing other therapeutic methods into EAAT practice such as cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, motivational interviewing, or reality testing