© 2017-2019 by Molly Jahncke for Equine Reflections, Inc.

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Equine Assisted

HorsePower encompasses the many customized types of Equine Assisted Activities and Therapy (EAAT) we offer outside of the EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) model -- either on the ground or in the saddle -- to help clients heal, learn, develop and grow.

Our HorsePower programs on horseback can include Therapeutic/Adaptive Riding, which involves teaching equestrian skills to people with disabilities.

Therapeutic/Adaptive Riding

  • Recreational horseback riding lessons adapted to individuals with disabilities.

  • Completed by a professional horseback-riding instructor in conjunction with trained volunteers.

  • Riding skills are taught either individually or in a group format, which run in “sessions.” The instructor must respond to the group as a whole, in addition to fostering individual success.

  • There is occasional hands-on assistance by the riding instructor and/or volunteers, but the instructor may often teach from the center of the arena.

Clients may enroll directly in one of our HorsePower programs, or may proceed into a HorsePower program after completing Horses4Healing EAGALA model therapy (upon receiving approval by the client's referring physician and EAGALA Treatment Team). In this way, our Horses4Healing and HorsePower programs offer the benefits of a continuum of care, with a variety of progressive equine facilitated therapy options.  

​HorsePower Program Benefits

Under the umbrella of Equine Assisted Activities and Therapy (EAAT), our HorsePower programs are tailored to meet client mental and/or physical development needs; can serve individuals or groups; and can take the form of workshops, clinics, short defined-term programs or ongoing long-term services.

Horses can perceive minute changes in people through body language, tone of voice, and even biochemistry. They also have remarkable memories and can perceive emotions such as pain and fear. Because of these and other unique capabilities, horses are great therapy partners for people with physical and/or emotional, cognitive or behavioral problems.

The gait of a horse moves the rider’s body in a similar way to the human body’s natural gait, thus helping with problems such as tightness and weakness, improving balance and core strength, and improving both gross and fine motor skills. The action of mounting and dismounting also develops strength and motor skills. Even ground work with horses -- such as grooming or adjusting tack -- engages both mind and body.

When a horse's movement is transferred to a patient through Hippotherapy, it produces a combination of sensory, motor and neurological input that can be used to treat a wide variety of diagnoses, including: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy and PVL, Down syndrome, Sensory Integrative Dysfunction, Cerebral Vascular Accident (stroke), developmental delays, social/communication delays, brain or spinal cord injuries, and genetic disorders.


Our HorsePower equine therapy and learning sessions can also provide catalysts for anyone seeking to improve self-confidence, communication, and social skills because of the interaction required with other people (instructor/therapist, volunteers or other clients in group sessions) as well as the equine partners. 

 Non-Hippotherapy program focuses include:

  • Anti-bullying

  • Self-esteem and confidence building

  • PTSD

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Attention Deficit Disorders

  • Grief and loss

  • Severe illness and recovery counseling

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Social behavioral concerns

  • Anger management

  • Family dynamics

  • Developmental and learning disabilities

  • Collaboration and teamwork development

  • Leadership growth and empowerment

Horses4Healing EAGALA model programs       vs.      HorsePower non-EAGALA programs
  • In every EAGALA session, a registered, credentialed Mental Health Professional and a certified Equine Specialist work together collaboratively at all times.*

  • In Horses4Healing EAGALA sessions, the focus is solely on ground-based experiences, often with the horse(s) at liberty; no horseback riding or horsemanship is involved.

  • The basis of the EAGALA Model is a belief that all clients have the best solutions for themselves when given the opportunity to discover them. Rather than directing solutions, the EAGALA Treatment Team allows clients to experiment, problem-solve, employ creativity, and find their own solutions that work best for them within Horses4Healing programs.

  • Our HorsePower EAAT sessions do not have this requirement. Depending on client need and program objectives, HorsePower program sessions may be conducted by an equine specialist, certified equine safety specialist, or riding instructor alone; or paired with one or more other instructors, educators, or counselors.*

  • HorsePower programs may involve on-the-ground activities -- including grooming/horse care and various horsemanship exercises -- and/or sessions on horseback.

  • HorsePower programs also engage the unique intuitive and athletic characteristics of horses to support emotional or physical therapy, or planned learning experiences; however, these programs may, as appropriate, involve specific goal-oriented instruction.

*Equine Reflections' Program Director/Lead Instructor Bonny Barry is a certified EAGALA Equine Specialist, certified American Association of Horsemanship Safety Riding Instructor; a member of PATH International and Certified Horsemanship Association; and is also certified in CPR and First Aid and Mental Health First Aid.