EAGALA certification helps horses to: Reduce Fear of humans. Fear of people is a major barrier to reducing unwanted behaviors like kicking, rearing or napping. By helping the horse recognize that people are harmless and will not harm them, behavior can be reduced. This can be particularly effective with younger animals who have a difficult time recognizing that other people may be harmful.
Strengthen connections. EAGALA therapy can strengthen relationships between horses and their owners and between horses and their trainers. When horses trust that their owners will treat them with kindness and fairness they feel stronger and more comfortable around them. This can be very helpful to horses who are shy or timid. They know they can trust the psychotherapist to provide positive guidance and care. The relationship benefits the horse, the owner and the trainer.
Improve disposition. One of the reasons that so many horses find themselves in behavioral problems is that their environment is threatening and challenging. This may be a situation where a horse has been abused or neglected. It could be a difficult environment for a horse to adapt to.
Reduce regret. If a horse suffers from a loss or trauma, it can cause deep psychological distress. The ability to feel fear or sorrow can’t always be learned. However, through EAGALA therapy, a horse’s past experiences are evaluated and analyzed to learn what caused the problem and how to prevent it in the future. When a pattern of behavior emerges, it can be used to modify behavior to be more desirable. The horse can be reintroduced into a calm, predictable environment.
Increase motivation. Sometimes a horse doesn’t respond well to training because it is not yet used to being handled. Sometimes a horse’s behavior can be difficult to change. An experienced therapist, like the one at EAGALA, can help a horse recognize the new behaviors as beneficial and safe.
Gain confidence. Many horses who have participated in EAGALA therapy show an increased level of confidence. This can have a positive impact on a horse’s performance when riding. The confidence boosts the horse’s performance and enables it to be more enjoyable. Being more confident, after all, helps a horse to perform better and faster.
EAGALA offers other services, too. It has an approved Therapeutic Horsemanship Program that includes both practical and theoretical instruction for equine psychotherapists. In addition, EAGALA offers the opportunity to become certified through the American Horseman’s Association (ATA). This certification is only valid when you are working with horses under the direct supervision of a licensed psychologist or registered veterinarian. To find out if you or a horse might benefit from EAGALA, contact a local therapist today.
EAGALA uses a blend of science and art to help horses deal with emotional problems. For example, during the therapy, a psychologist will often treat the horse as a person in order to gain its trust and to build a connection. The horse’s handler will often play the role of the patient’s partner. Together they will work together to develop a plan of treatment and to heal the horse of the ailment.
During EAGALA therapy, the horse will be examined to determine the cause of its behavior. The horse may be suffering from a physical problem, or it could be depressed or anxious. In some horses, depression or anxiety becomes so severe that the horse does not perform well or even perform at all. In these cases, the horse may need psychotherapy and medications to help it get through the difficult times. The equine psychologist may recommend that the horse be treated with EAGALA. However, some equine psychotherapists do not feel that EAGALA is an appropriate treatment for all horses.
EAGALA is considered a preventive form of psychotherapy for horses. Because the horse’s behavior is being analyzed, the horse’s responses to stressors can be anticipated. This allows the horse owner to take appropriate steps to eliminate stress before it causes damage. The horse will also be encouraged to make positive associations with the psychotherapist as well as with other people and animals.
Because of the success of EAGALA, it is often prescribed to other horses as well. EAGALA is a safe, effective, natural method for treating your horse’s behavioral problems without the use of drugs. Equine assisted psychotherapists should be licensed in order to administer this therapy. They must also hold general horsemanship and animal behavior qualifications. You should contact your local State Board and verify that the equine therapist you plan to hire meets all of the necessary requirements for receiving your horse’s treatment from a qualified therapist.