During my time in rehab, one of my favorite activities was riding horses, which they called equine therapy.
There are lots of benefits of equine therapy, and that’s great because I loved that the program built-in time for me to connect with an animal, and to take care of him. It’s funny, you would think that riding the horse would be the best part, but for me it was knowing that I had autonomy in caring for him. I felt like I had purpose and that what I did each day for my horse made a difference in his life. What a beautiful way to spend some time! I loved brushing him and feeding him, and taking him out for some exercise.
I did notice some differences in myself, and some of my fellow rehab-ers too. I felt less anxious, for sure, and some of my less-calm peers appeared to relax. The ones I least expected to care about a horse would actually light up when equine therapy time came each day. Who would have thought that time with a horse, time spent caring for someone or something else, could really benefit those of us trying to stay sober?
My therapist introduced the benefits of equine therapy to me, and then we talked about the process a little bit each time we met. We could identify my emotional growth. I felt my capacity to care for another living creature return, and my therapist felt this was a great way to gradually care for myself in the right ways again.
When I look back over those weeks, I think of what parts of therapy made me feel really good, and equine therapy was definitely one of them. It’s strange; it’s as if caring for my horse turned into me caring for the life I was so willing to throw away when I was actively using.
If you are going into rehab, first of all, good for you! I would recommend experiencing the benefits of equine therapy for yourself.
Contact Sovereign Health Group about the benefits of equine therapy.
Post by: Marissa Maldonado
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