Equuvation Inc.


Why We Do It

The health and wellness of our country is worsening; and many do not have access to services. Additionally, many with disabilities also struggle with mental health. We are dedicated to providing innovative and effective equine-facilitated and nature-based services, so that we may positively
affect the lives of others, and in turn the whole of our society, regardless of ability to pay.


DID YOU KNOW?

  • A substantially lower percentage of persons with disabilities, than those without disabilities, report their health to be excellent or very good (28.4% versus 61.4%). While at risk for the same ailments and conditions as people in the general population (i.e., injury, obesity, hypertension and the common cold), persons with disabilities also are at specific risk for secondary conditions that can damage their health status and quality of their lives. Yet, particularly when it comes to access, many health and wellness programs do not address the needs of persons with disabilities. (2)

  • Many students with [learning] disabilities also have underlying behavioral disorders, and researchers have struggled to design ways to reliably identify those problems and to treat them. (4)

  • Children with a learning disability are also more likely to suffer from mental health problems, with approximately 36% of children with a learning disability also reported to have a psychiatric disorder. (3)

  • In addition, several pieces of research have specifically found elevated rates of attention difficulties, aggressive behavior and social problems in children with a [learning] disability compared to their peers without a disability. (3)

  • Youth mental health is worsening. Rates of youth depression increased from 8.5% in 2011 to 11.1% in 2014. Even with severe depression, 80% of youth are left with no or insufficient treatment. (1)

  • 1 in 5 adults have a mental health condition. That’s over 40 million Americans; more than the populations of New York and Florida combined. (1)

  • Approximately 40% of adults with a [learning] disability also have a mental health problem. This is more than double the estimated point prevalence rate of mental health problems in the general population. (3)

 

SOURCES:  (1) www.naminc.org   |   (2) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov   |   (3) www.mencap.org.uk  |  (4) www.learnnc.org

Research supports the following health benefits for individuals of all ages, who participate in equine-facilitated and animal-assisted activities and therapies: 

PHYSICAL HEALTH (5) (6)

  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Overall improved fitness – therapeutic riding, in
  • particular, can help to develop muscular strength, core strength, posture and balance.
  • A diminishing of overall physical pain; and in some cases, a reduction in the amount of medications some individuals need. Improved breathing patterns and ability to control breathing in stressful situations.
  • Increased physical relaxation and flexibility.

MENTAL HEALTH (5) (6)

  • A reduction in initial resistance that might accompany the idea of enrolling in therapy.
  • Increased motivation and openness during therapy sessions – participants stated enjoying sessions more, and were less stressed, when it included horses or other animals; and/or took
  • place in a non-clinical environment. Increased release of serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin – all hormones that can play a part in elevating moods.
  • Reduced anxiety – the simple act of petting horses, and other animals, releases an automatic relaxation response.
  • A sense of comfort in times of need.
  • Reduced loneliness.
  • Improved self control and coping skills.
  • Improved recall of memories and sequencing of temporal events in individuals with head injuries or chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
  • Ability to recognize maladaptive patterns.

For Individuals in a Therapeutic Riding Program (6)

  • Overall improved fitness – strength, balance, breathing and flexibility.
  • Increased communication and socialization
  • Increased confidence and self-esteem
  • Improved self regulation and focus
  • Improved cognitive processing and learning
  • A greater sense of independence

For Children with Autism (6)

  • Many children with autism feel a deep bond with animals and feel that they are able to relate better than to humans.
  • Children with autism are engaged in significantly greater use of language, as well as social interaction, in therapy sessions that incorporated animals compared to therapy sessions without them.

For At-Risk Youth (7)

  • Experiential learning with horses, and other animals, has been shown to help individuals recognize maladaptive behaviors, feelings, and attitudes; which then allows exploration and practice of alternatives to break these patterns. In the case of at-risk youth, it may target skills of self-regulation, communication, self-advocacy, empathy, responsibility and self-awareness, creating a path to positive behavior through adolescence and early adulthood.
SOURCES: (5) www.uclahealth.org (6) www.pathintl.org (7) Rothe, E., Vega, B., Torres, R., Soler, S., & Pazos, R. (2005). From kids and horses: Equine facilitated psychotherapy for children. International Journal Of Clinical And Health Psychology.

“I discovered many things about myself during my EFP sessions.
Learning how to interact with horses taught me how to effectively communicate and set personal boundaries in every day interactions.
This single tool allowed me to identify negative patterns, process
emotions, overcome depression, and eventually heal. This program
is for anyone who is seeking clarity and ready to receive a positive
self exploration lesson that could be life changing.”

{ – L.S. | Client Testimonial }


All of the Corporation’s activities will be conducted prioritizing equine welfare through the respectful and humane treatment of horses (and other animals); and all activities will operate under the values of compassion, equality, collaboration, open-mindedness and integrity. To get involved, please contact us.