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What is Equine-Assisted Learning (EAL)?

Equine Assisted Learning pairs people with horses to grow social /emotional skills and support developmental assets.

Themes can include: 

  • Growing Self - Confidence

  • Making Requests 

  • Following Directions

  • Focus and Mindfulness

  • Reading and Responding to Body Language

  • Establishing Boundaries

  • Healthy Assertiveness

  • Leadership

  • Dealing with Bullies

  • Creative Problem-Solving 

      and many more


Our experts guide observations and structure the-ground equine interactions to give clients opportunities to "practice " in real time - with horses.

Horses seek social bonds, desire leadership, are non-judgemental and most will let you try over without a grudge.

What is Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)?

Equine Experiential Psychotherapy incorporates horses experientially for psychotherapeutic benefit. EAP is provided by a treatment team consisting of an Equine Specialist and a Mental Health Professional.   Participants learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with the horses, and then processing thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, and patterns. Relationships are developed and nurtured: client to self, client to others and client to the world at large. As facilitators, our primary roles include setting suitable experiences, posing problems, setting boundaries, supporting clients, ensuring physical and emotional safety, and facilitating the learning process. EAP can serve as an adjunct therapy to a client's ongoing treatment plan or, for some, the best alternate approach to talk therapy. 



"EAP is a powerful and exciting way to access genuine feelings, conditioned patterns and get to the source of both discomfort and wellness. The lessons learned penetrate deeply - facilitating shifts in behavior and perspective in a way that bypasses the defenses of the mind."


-- TB, HorsePlay MHP

Equine Psychotherapy Can Help with: 

  • Trauma and PTSD

  • Substance Abuse

  • Anxiety and Depression

  • Family System           and more

Click here to read more  about EAP & Troubled Teens

Click here to read more about EAP and Crime Victims

Click here to read an article from Psychology Today

Click here to read about EAP & PTSD

Cick here to link to more EAP studies

Why Horses?

Horses are large and powerful, which creates a natural opportunity for some to overcome fear and develop confidence. Accomplishing tasks with horses, in spite of those fears, raises self-esteem and provides for meaningful metaphors when dealing with other intimidating and challenging situations in life.


Horses are very much like humans in that they are social animals with defined roles within their herds. They have distinct personalities, attitudes, and moods. An approach that works with one horse does not necessarily work with another. In other words, horses provide vast opportunities for metaphorical learning. Because the horse is sensitive to non-verbal communication, they respond to what messages the client gives them at the moment. The horse's responses begin to feel very familiar to clients, similar perhaps to those of their spouses, children, and co-workers --  or this might also mirror how their addictions, fears, dreams, etc. play out in their lives. The horses become very real symbols of these relationships and allow clients the opportunity to work through change in these aspects of their lives in an experiential, in-the-moment and emotionally safe way.



Who is this for? 

EAL and EAP offer opportunities for individuals, families, and couples and groups.   

If situations and budgets allow, HorsePlay will bring its unique equine model to your door for groups, such as a school or treatment centers. 

Hear what our Mental Health Specialists are saying about EAP & EAL 

"Cori is a natural at setting up the interactions and understanding the powerful potential for the student to gain awareness through these beautiful animals and their coherent behavior. I place clients in her capable hands."

Lucy Barbera, PhD, LCAT, Director

The Creative Therapy Center 

Kingston, NY 12401

Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association

Founded in 1999, EAGALA is the leading international non-profit association for professionals incorporating horses to address mental health and personal development needs. Eagala Website  EAGALA has over 4,500 members in 50 countries. The model is a structure, facilitation style and standard for conducting Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning. All EAP sessions are conducted by a 2-person team: an MH practitioner and an Equine Specialist. 

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