Equine Therapy at New Hope Boys Home
For many, the teen years are some of the most difficult in life. Their bodies go through changes, relationships become complex, we begin to learn social roles, and more than ever our children are expected to grow up earlier. These changes may leave a teenager feeling helpless, confused, and pessimistic about the future.
Building powerful relationships with the horses helps troubled boys learn key relational skills and tools that translate to healthy relationships with peers, parents, and authority figures. Horses are very unique and they can read people better than people can read one another. Therapists use the experience with the horses to find new ways to provide powerful therapeutic interventions. The interaction between the boy and the horse helps them become self-aware of issues that cause stagnation and confusion.
At New Hope Boys Home, we offer traditional counseling sessions as well as equine therapy; a powerful treatment tool not found in most programs. Many teens find that horses can be intimidating and taking care of them can be overwhelming, especially at first. As your son overcomes this initial fear, he will begin to build self-confidence and learn greater lessons about his ability to overcome challenges in his life. For struggling teens who are self-destructing, equine therapy can be especially useful, since it teaches boys to care for other living beings rather than focusing on their own desires.
Equine Therapy is one of our most effective and innovative methods for addressing a wide range of therapeutic needs in adolescents. Through interactions with horses and with help from equine therapists, our students discover and explore behaviors and relationship patterns that have become problematic in their day-to-day lives. The very size and strength of the horses can stir deeply buried emotions while simultaneously providing opportunities to identify and resolve practical matters of communication, empathy, and basic interpersonal respect. Interactions with the horses bring up thoughts and behavior patterns that are related to the issues that have brought families seeking treatment for their young boy.
It is possible that Equine Therapy can reach our students where traditional therapy cannot. This is a powerful and effective approach that has a lasting impact on the boys, their families, and their peers.
Equine therapy helps struggling teens acquire:
- Self-worth and personal integrity
- Evaluation and establishment of healthy relationships
- Effective communication
- Addiction recovery
- Eating disorder recovery
- The value of trust and respect in relationships
- The dynamics of power in relationships (e.g., bullying vs. equity)
- Assertiveness vs. aggressiveness
- Respect for diversity and individuality
- The importance of teamwork and community
- Healing from trauma
We look forward to watching your sons progression as they complete the horsemanship program and implement the skills learned into daily life here at New Hope Boys Home.