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The horse as therapist

One disadvantage in the terms 'riding therapy' or 'therapeutic riding' is that, in practice, the activities to which they refer do not involve a great deal of actual riding. The therapeutic effect as such takes place in a completely natural manner.

In its very presence as a large, strong animal, the horse draws all the attention to itself. It radiates warmth, its gentle movements give its rider confidence and it provides a mirror of our own behaviour. This is why, in a very real sense, it is not we humans who are the true therapists, but the horse.

This represents a significant difference in comparison with any other therapy method in which human practitioners exercise the main influence on the patient. So the first and most important step towards working successfully with horses is to become completely aware of this aspect.

The main factor determining the effects and degree of success of the therapy is the horse!

In this respect we at igogo are also not entirely happy with the term 'equine assisted therapy', because it does not really do justice to the central role played by the horse.

The difference between our understanding equine assisted therapy and that of other practitioners and training centres consists in the way we communicate with the horses and in the therapy as such.

The igogo philosophy is free from dogmatic influences and seeks to take account of all the psychological, educational and equestrian aspects which are relevant to working with horses.

We promote confidence and positive modes of behaviour using the natural gradient of dominance between humans and horses without the need for compulsion. This can be achieved when we take enough time to establish reliable paths of communication between the species – and that is what lies at the heart of the igogo horseback riding therapy.

igogo · Academy for Equine Assisted Therapy · Petra Meisel
E-Mail: info(at)
concept and text: · Web Design and TYPO3: HORNUNG
Was in der Praxis funktioniert...
...wird in der Ausbildung gelernt.

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