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Program Spotlight: Animal Assisted Therapy (Equine Track)

by Tim Brunicardi on July 8, 2018

Hocking College offers students four equine programs to choose from and, in only four semesters, students can receive their Associate of Applied Science in one of the following categories:

This blog offers more information about Hocking College’s Animal Assisted Therapy (Equine Track) program.

Hocking College's Animal Assisted Therapy (Equine Track) Program

This career focuses on aspects of humans using horses as a tool for therapy purposes. It utilizes a combination of knowledge and skills such as horse care, riding instruction, and aspects of specific therapies. There are actually four branches of equine assisted therapy, which are:

  • Equine Assisted Psychotherapy: This involves using mental health counseling techniques to prompt horses to assist individuals with emotional and mental disabilities such as anxiety and PTSD. The counseling portion is often done by a licensed therapist who works with an equine specialist._MG_8120
  • Equine Facilitated Learning: This therapy uses social activities that mimics how horses interact with one another and humans. The goal is to provide a positive result to a client through equine-based activities that are therapeutic in nature.
  • Hippotherapy: This must be performed by a licensed and trained physical, speech, or occupational & language therapist. The horses movement is used as a treatment tool to improve the motor skills and sensory input of the rider/patient.
  • Therapeutic Riding: This is performed by a riding instructor who's guided by a hippotherapist. The patient is subjected to a specialized style of horseback riding that is designed to help them feel better physically, emotionally, and improve their social skills.

Successful candidates for equine therapy instructors often pursue one of the following additional certifications:

Also, Hocking College's degree plan allows students to work with certified instructors and creates a pathway to PATH certifications. In this program, students will learn about human psychology, equine & companion animal behavior and communication, as well as how to teach horsemanship and horseback riding, equine therapy, and therapeutic riding and hippotherapy techniques.

For more information on Hocking College’s Equine Programs, contact Equine Science Program Manager, Bethany Siehr, by email at siehrb@hocking.edu or by phone at (740) 753-6282.
Equine Program