Equine Assisted Therapy

Who is this for?

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy can serve children, adolescents and adults who are struggling with many varieties of behavioral health challenges.  It can be helpful for people who have difficulty managing relationships, understanding their emotions and behaviors, or who feel stuck. It is a wonderful model for people who are open to new ways of learning about themselves and who want an opportunity to ‘see’ how their behaviors, patterns, thoughts and beliefs impact themselves and those around them.

  • Individuals, Couples, and Families 12+ years of age; We will also determine eligibility for those under 12 on a case-by-case basis.
  • People of all races, religions, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, disabilities and national origins.
  • Youth with at-risk backgrounds (placements and services in the Foster Care/Child Welfare and Mental Health systems).
  • Prior or current histories of behavioral and psychological difficulties.
  • Individuals experiencing difficulty with the following: Developmental Stages, Natural Life Transitions, Anger Management, Stress Management, Anxiety, Depression, Self-Esteem, Grief and Loss, Relationship Issues, Sexual Identity, Gender Identity, Spirituality, Trauma, Emotional Regulation, Life Skills, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Work-Life Balance, Bullying, Prejudice and Discrimination, Procrastination
  • Couples experiencing difficulty with the following: Communication, Infidelity, Parenting, Grief and Loss, Boundaries, Natural Life Transitions, Trauma, Emotional Regulation, Midlife Crisis, Work-Life Balance, Prejudice and Discrimination
  • Families experiencing difficulty with the following: Developmental Stages in Children, Natural Life Transitions, Grief and Loss, Communication, Parenting, Boundaries, Trauma, Relationship Issues, Work-Life Balance, Emotional Regulation, Prejudice and Discrimination
  • People who would like to build strength and resilience, have joyful and safe relationships and learn ways to cope

What is EAGALA?

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning (EAP of EAL) is an experiential therapy that incorporates horses in the therapy process.  This means that participants learn about themselves and others by participating in activities involving horses and processing the thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, and patterns that arise during the experience. 

Eliada practices the EAGALA model (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association). The basis of the EAGALA model is that all participants can discover the best solutions for themselves when given the opportunity. This is a team approach, in which a licensed mental health professional, a qualified equine specialist, and a horse all work in collaboration with a participant. The participant does not ride the horse, but works with the horse while on the ground. Therapy goals combined with experiences with the horses allow the participant to explore, problem solve, and discover strengths while learning.

All EAGALA certified clinicians and equine specialists abide by a code of ethics.  EAGALA has high standards to ensure best practices and highest level of care.

Why Horses?

Horses are large and powerful animals. They can sometimes place you out of your comfort zone, which provides the opportunity to experience new things.

Horses are highly attuned to their environment and the non-verbal messages and body language they perceive in humans.  Horses respond in the moment to the nonverbal messages humans are communicating.  A horse is inherently authentic and they do not try to be something they are not.  They will provide honest immediate feedback based on the interactions you are having with them.  They do not care about your history, your diagnosis, what you say, what you wear, or what labels you place on yourself.  They respond the person who shows up in front of them in the moment.  The feedback the horses provide helps the participant to see their interactions with others and gain insight into their own thoughts, beliefs, actions and patterns that they may be struggling to understand and provides an opportunity to adapt and create new ones.  

If a participant is looking for a different response from a horse they will have to try something different.  In order to get a different response, the participant will have to make a genuine transformation within themselves.  Horses naturally provide opportunities for people to make change happen. 

Horses just by doing, moving, and reacting (or not reacting in some cases) can help participants learn from natural consequences, mistakes and successes. 

What can I expect in a session?

The horses respond differently with everyone.  There is not a “right way” to have a session, and every session is different for every person based on what they want to work on.  Every person has a story to tell and sometimes the stories we tell ourselves no longer serve us and we need to create a different story. It is important to know that working with horses does not always mean that every session is fun.  Therapy and learning can be difficult work.  Tough stuff is going to come up. Sometimes people can get really triggered, frustrated, angry or sad when these things come up.  Therapy and learning is a process. All sessions include a licensed therapist and a certified equine specialist, and a horse working with the participant.  We view the horses as true partners in your healing and learning journey.  We allow them to respond naturally and organically during each session.  The horses are usually not confined or restrained in any way. The facilitators are there to provide opportunities for the participant to be with the horses and help them process the experience as it is occurring. The participants only requirement is to show up and be present to their experience, and the horses only requirements are to be themselves. The therapist and equine specialist are there to provide physical and

Contact Us

One of the most important aspects of your counseling experience is the relationship that you will form with your treatment team. We will strive to provide you with a safe space to work with the horses and move towards growth and healing.

We are honored that you are considering us to help you along your journey.  We are happy to speak with you over the phone to determine if we will be a good match for your needs.

Please feel free to give us a call at  (828) 254-5356 Ext 304 or email

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