Further evidence of the powerful nature of equine programs like ours can be seen in a recent study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health* which found that equine assisted activities correlate with positive behavioral traits among healthy adolescents. The equine students in their study had fewer emotional and behavioral problems, and their prosocial behavior was about four times better than that of the control group. The study team explains that the adolescence stage often presents youth with challenges that make it difficult for them to cope with life. If mental health issues surface and are not managed in time, these can lead to delinquency or substance abuse and cause other illnesses and problems later in life. Multiple studies have confirmed that equine-assisted activities have a positive effect on a number of behavioral traits, and emotional and social skills. As they report: “We strongly believe that the relationship humans build with horses shows them a way to build trust, acceptance, and understanding toward humans as well. Our results suggest that young people who learn to listen to and take care of the horse can transfer this knowledge to intraspecies communication and behavior, as well.” Through guided interactions with the horses, the pro-social behaviors of children will be strengthened and may protect them from psychosocial stressors they have to face in their everyday lives.
*[Read the full article attached; “How Equine-Assisted Activities Affect the Prosocial Behavior of Adolescents”]