The Approach

Equine Assisted Human Development (EAHD)

Changing Horses delivers Equine Assisted Human Development (EAHD) which incorporates horses experientially for emotional growth and learning. It works under the supervision of a therapist with the clients and horses interacting, to address treatment goals. Because of its intensity and effectiveness, it is considered a short-term or “brief” approach.

EAHD is experiential in nature. This means that participants learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with the horses, and then processing (or discussing) feelings, behaviours, and patterns. This approach has been compared to the ropes courses used by therapists, treatment facilities, and human development courses around the world; but EAHD has the added advantage of utilising horses; dynamic and powerful living beings.

Not all programs or individuals who use horses practice Equine Assisted Human Development. For one, a mental health professional needs to be involved. The focus of EAHD is not riding or horsemanship. It involves setting up ground-based activities involving the horses, which will require the client or group to apply certain skills. Non-verbal communication, assertiveness, creative thinking and problem-solving, leadership, work, taking responsibility, teamwork and relationships, confidence, and attitude are several examples of the tools utilized and developed by EAHD.

EAHD is a powerful and effective therapeutic approach that has an incredible impact on individuals, youth, families, and groups. EAHD addresses a variety of mental health and human development needs including behavioural issues, attention deficit disorder, PTSD, substance abuse, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, relationship problems and communication needs.

Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) is similar to EAHD; but the focus is more on learning or educational goals. EAL involves the team of mental health professional and horse professional working with the clients and horses. The focus however is on education and learning specific skills as defined by the individual or group, such as improved product sales for a company, leadership skills for a school group, or resiliency training for our military warriors.

The potential applications for both EAHD and EAL are limitless! For more information on the possibilities, contact us.