Skills for Recovery through Horse Therapy
By: Cirque Lodge
People have a lot of different ideas when it comes to treatment in an alcohol or drug rehab. Working with horses usually isn’t one of them. At the Cirque Lodge, this is very much a reality. As a part of our unique experiential program, residents have the chance to learn profound lessons on recovery. Some experiential work involves horses and what we like to call “equine therapy”. Time spent with the horses can be a very eye opening endeavor. It can teach the recovering alcoholic/addict behavioral things that can be used as tools for sobriety.
Equine therapy can be quite the process as well. Some individuals have never even seen a horse, let alone have ever interacted with one. Horses are also naturally creatures of flight and acutely aware. The bigger, stronger and faster animal is not always will to obey commands. The process of gaining the trust of the horses can be a difficult one at first. Our horse trainers are there every step of the way to work with residents and help them in establishing trust with the horse. When a connection is made, this can develop into a powerful bond. The individual learns a different way to present themselves, communicate and ask for help.
Equine therapy is just a small part to our powerful experiential piece to drug rehab. Horses, the mountain, a ropes course and even art/pottery are used to teach recovery lessons. When this is balanced into the more traditional forms of alcohol and drug rehab, you have unique and effective program. It is an experience that can be a foundation for long term recovery.