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The Science behind Equine Assisted Interventions



For many people new to the world of Equine-Assisted Therapy it can look like a bunch of horsey people trying to push their hobby onto other people and dress it up as a therapy model.

Well, that's simply not the case. There is quite abit of peer-reviewed research into the human-animal interactions and the effect they have on behaviour, biophysical markers, and human psychology.

Here is a list of some of the most recent research in a variety of fields that include the benefits and results of working with EAL as a therapeutic model.


  • Hultsjö, S., & Jormfeldt, H. (2022). The role of the horse in an equine-assisted group intervention-as conceptualized by persons with psychotic conditions. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 43(3), 201-208.

  • Prieto, A., Martins Almeida Ayupe, K., Nemetala Gomes, L., Saúde, A. C., & Gutierres Filho, P. (2022). Effects of equine-assisted therapy on the functionality of individuals with disabilities: systematic review and meta-analysis. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, 38(9), 1091-1106.

  • Flynn, E., Zoller, A. G., Gandenberger, J., & Morris, K. N. (2022). Improving engagement in behavioral and mental health services through animal-assisted interventions: A scoping review. Psychiatric Services, 73(2), 188-195.

  • Fonseka, B., Marshall, F., & Edwards, L. J. (2022). The Effects of Animal-Assisted Therapy on the Health and Well-Being of Military Veterans: A Systematic Scoping Review and Recommendations for Future Research. People and Animals: The International Journal of Research and Practice, 5(1), 12.

  • Rosing, T., Malka, M., Brafman, D., & Fisher, P. W. (2022). A qualitative study of equine‐assisted therapy for Israeli military and police veterans with PTSD—impact on self‐regulation, bonding and hope. Health & Social Care in the Community, 30(6), e5074-e5082.

  • Emanuel, C. (2023). Long-Term Outcomes of Equine-Assisted Therapy for Veterans with PTSD.

  • Marchand, W. R., Lackner, R., Hartquist, A., Finnell, L., & Nazarenko, E. (2023). Evaluation of a mindfulness and self-compassion-based psychotherapy incorporating horses for Veterans who have experienced trauma. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 72, 102914.


  • Haig, L., & Skinner, K. (2022). Use of equine-assisted services to improve outcomes among at-risk and indigenous youth: a scoping review. Frontiers in Public Health, 10, 730644.

  • Højgaard-Bøytler, J., & Argentzell, E. (2022). Experiences of Equine Assisted Therapy and Its Influence on Occupational Engagement among People with Mental Health Problems. Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, 1-25.

  • Stergiou, A. N., Mattila-Rautiainen, S., Varvarousis, D. N., Tzoufi, M., Plyta, P., Beris, A., & Ploumis, A. (2023). The efficacy of Equine Assisted Therapy intervention in gross motor function, performance, and spasticity in children with Cerebral Palsy. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 10.



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