"It's like being in another world": demonstrating the benefits of therapeutic horseback riding for individuals with psychiatric disability

Psychiatr Rehabil J. Spring 2003;26(4):377-84. doi: 10.2975/26.2003.377.384.


Five adults with longstanding histories of psychiatric disabilities were recruited for a ten-week therapeutic horseback riding program. Individuals learned basic riding skills and had the opportunity to bond with a horse. In addition, the riders participated in a post-riding process group that used artistic and creative exercises to promote individual expression. By the end often weeks, the riders reported success in learning basic horsemanship and, in doing so, also reported additional psychosocial benefits, including an augmented sense of self-efficacy and self-esteem. In sum, this adjunctive therapy can facilitate the recovery process.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Mental Health Services
  • Program Evaluation
  • Recovery of Function*
  • Self Concept
  • Self Efficacy