Healing with Horses: Hippotherapy and Trauma Resilience
“You’ll never lie to a horse,” Kelsey Herman OTD, OTR/L says to her equine centered occupational therapy patients at Healing Steps Equine Centered Therapy in Battle Ground. As a lifelong lover of horses, Herman began her doctorate program at Pacific University knowing she wanted horses to be a part of her career. “Occupational therapy and horses are a match made in heaven because the horse is very versatile as a tool,” she told me. “Horses can be used to address physical deficits, emotional challenges, social skills, and mental health. But what makes horses irreplaceable in therapy is the connection between the horse and rider.” This connection is more than just friendship between a human and animal—science has proven that horses help patients overcome a variety of conditions.
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