Working with horses has been a proven method of emotional recovery and one of the most unique services offered by Idaho Youth Ranch.
Kids who act out are often reacting from deep pain or anger they don’t understand and can’t explain. Dark memories can be frightening to deal with. And for abused or neglected kids, trusting anyone—especially an adult—is too great of a risk. They’ve learned to protect themselves by shutting out people who try to reach them. It can be tough for a clinician to help a child who can’t or won’t talk about what they’re feeling.
That’s where horses come in. There is an intuitive connection between animals and children. The experience of interacting with a horse—a sympathetic, gentle giant who doesn’t lie, doesn’t judge, sees through pretense, and communicates without words—can be powerfully transformative. At Idaho Youth Ranch, we’ve seen how time spent with horses has helped hundreds of at-risk kids through a special treatment model called Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP).