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Benefits of EAAT for Disabled Veterans


Along with the physical benefits, equine-assisted psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) has gained the attention of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which has provided grants for practitioners to run equine-assisted therapy groups for returning troops from Afghanistan and Iraq. 


Preliminary results are favorable, with statistically significant rates of change, suggesting the use of equine-assisted therapy to reduce or control the symptoms of PTSD. The Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) evaluated treatment of members of the Georgia National Guard, where deployments averaged two years or more.  The study revealed that 100 percent of soldiers who completed therapy had dramatically reduced stress levels.15 

Animal-assisted therapy has shown evidence-based efficacy in veterans and other individuals with PTSD, depression, anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorders, dissociative disorders, and other chronic mental illnesses. 


In equine-assisted psychotherapy, horses are used as tools to gain self-understanding and emotional growth. It recognizes the bond between animals and humans and the potential for emotional healing when a relationship is formed between the two species. In most cases, the horses are not ridden, and usually are not tethered in the arena, but allowed to roam free.  Exercises can be as simple as giving the client a halter, and letting them figure out how to approach the horse and put it on. 

Benefits of Equine Therapy for PTSD


  • Better impulse modulation 

  • Decreasing isolation 

  • Expanding boundaries

  • Gaining creative freedom

  • Gaining self-acceptance

  • Gaining self-confidence

  • Gaining self-control

  • Improving conentration

  • Improving communication

  • Improving self-awareness

  • Improving social skills

  • Learning to trust

  • Reducing anxiety

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