The Benefits of Equine Therapy for Deaf People

The Benefits of Equine Therapy for Deaf People

Animals have always been around. Arguably, we have progressed as a civilization once we learned to integrate animals into our lives, as they proved to be incredibly helpful in all areas of life. There are numerous species of animals that have stood by humans for thousands of years, but one that is probably the most famous, alongside cats and dogs, is horses. Our equine friends have been at our side through thick and thin, in war and peace, and helped us become what we are today. Although we do not see much of them today, horses are still present in our society. Nowadays, they are mostly used for sports, as horse racing is still quite popular, which can be seen by the number of people betting on such events. People like to bet on horse races, one of the most popular being Cheltenham races, and horse racing betting tips help them choose more easily what bets to make. Of course, the use that we have for horses does not end there. Horses have distinguished themselves as great therapy animals, and equine therapy is being used more and more often to help deaf people overcome their disability and get a better grasp on life.

What is equine therapy?

It is a form of therapy that is based on a person being around a horse and sharing experiences. Although it may be the first thing that comes to mind, equine therapy does not exclusively refer to horse riding but can include various other activities, like grooming, feeding, and leading. All of this can help the patient establish a connection with the animal, which is crucial for the success of the therapy. Usually, there is a therapist that helps the patient in the beginning and observes their progress, makes comments and monitors their interaction.

What are the benefits of equine therapy?

The primary benefit of this type of therapy, as with any animal, is the development of empathy for other beings. It helps the patient get in touch with their emotional side, but also become prepared for unexpected situations, as horses react differently to their surroundings than humans do. Also, caring for another living being can improve the patient’s sense of responsibility, independence, and restraint. We cannot always react impulsively, especially around animals like these, as they can sense our behavior and become restless.

How does this therapy benefit deaf people?

When it comes to communicating with horses, a great portion of it does not require the use of voice, as horses can very well read a person’s mood or intentions based on their body language. Deaf people can also learn to read a horse’s body language, for example, when it senses danger, or when it is not in a good mood; the more time a deaf rider spends with the horse, the better they become at picking up these subtle signals. This is very effective, especially for people who were not born deaf, but lost their hearing later in life, as they have the opportunity to become acquainted with these subtle cues and signs that do not require sound at all.