The Power of Equine Therapy for Substance Abuse Treatment

equine therapy programs for substance abuse treatment mariposa center

What is equine therapy for substance abuse? How did it come to be such a powerful treatment option beyond traditional treatment methods?

Mariposa Center, a non-profit treatment facility in Orange County, incorporated equine therapy years ago. In our experience, caring for horses can have a tremendously positive impact on recovery. It’s especially useful for the emotional challenges that arise during the process.

What is Equine Therapy?

Equine therapy, equine-assisted therapy, or simply “horse therapy,” is an opportunity for individuals in recovery to participate in animal care activities alongside a mental health professional and a horse specialist. 

Caring for animals, and horses in particular, can help treat the emotional and behavioral trauma related to substance abuse.

Why is Equine Therapy for Substance Abuse Treatment Effective?

One of the most common motivators for drug and alcohol abuse is the desire to escape trauma or numb suffering. When individuals stop using substances and face the root causes of their struggles, it’s very common for their emotional responses to intensify and make the process of recovery more difficult.

Horses are empathetic and emotionally responsive animals. Working with them gives people the opportunity to see a reflection of the emotions that they are holding onto based on how the horse reacts to them.

This program is a proven and powerful way for individuals on the path to recovery to heal and reconnect with their own feelings in a meaningful way.

How Mariposa Center Uses Equine Therapy for Recovery

Mariposa Center is one of the few non-profit facilities in Orange County that offers equine therapy. 

In addition to substance abuse treatment, we have found that horse therapy can be beneficial for other mental health challenges. These include depression, anxiety, and more.

“Equine therapy is an incredibly powerful treatment opportunity. We are very grateful that we can offer our clients these services. The ability to connect with and provide care for an animal can be a catalyst for healing and transformative for many during the recovery process.”

Lindsey Crook, LMFT; Director of Operations, Mariposa Center

For more than 45 years, Mariposa Center has been at the forefront of mental wellness and substance abuse treatment for Orange County communities in need.

Our non-profit services – made possible by our generous donors and partner network – are designed to help local individuals and families regain their joy and hope for a future free of trauma and addiction.

Learn more about Mariposa Center’s equine therapy services.

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