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Harnessing Hope: Equine-Assisted Therapy for Mental Wellness

This article first appeared in the 2022 It Takes A Valley Campaign Impact Report.

Equine-Assisted Therapy for Mental Wellness

For those struggling with mental health disorders, equine-assisted therapy has been proven to help. Since 2021, Vail Health’s Eagle Valley Behavioral Health (EVBH) has supported Trio Therapy Partners’ mental health counseling and equine-assisted learning services that benefit individuals with behavioral issues due to trauma, domestic abuse, and assault as well as those experiencing anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and Attention Deficit Disorder, among others.

How Horses Help

Therapists and instructors use the connection between people and horses to help enhance clients’ self confidence, self-advocacy, and more. Trio Therapy Partners provides individual appointments, group services, and summer camps for children who benefit from mental health counseling and occupational therapy. In 2022, Trio offered 255 appointments for mental health counseling, equine-assisted learning, and occupational therapy to help 26 individuals—90% of them being youth participants and 60% being primarily Spanish-speaking.

Young clients have experienced significant positive changes, as witnessed through health assessments, goal completion, and feedback from caregivers, therapists, and healthcare providers.

“The support we’ve received from EVBH helps cover costs, expand access, fund mental health counseling, and provide equine-assisted learning services for clients with cognitive and behavioral health challenges,” says Lauren Cremonese, Trio Therapy Partners’ Co-Founder and Physical Therapist.

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