Equine Therapy is a highly effective therapeutic tool used at The Meadows in our addiction and trauma treatment program. As part of our innovative and holistic treatment program, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) helps patients learn new ways of dealing with trauma, their eating disorder, and relationships.
Horses are an integral part of our leading-edge treatment. These powerful yet vulnerable creatures have a large limbic system, the part of the brain responsible for emotion and intuition, which greatly contributes to their keen ability to detect danger. Perhaps most importantly, this also plays a part in their heightened sensitivity to human emotion, body language, and energy. At The Meadows, our patients learn how to be predictable, trustworthy and communicative from the bonds they establish during our Equine Therapy program.
This is why we are excited about our new addition to our mascot family, miniature horse, Cinnamon! She was born on March 17, 2014 on St. Patrick’s day between 10:30 pm -11:00 pm. Harry our security guard helped to deliver the young foal. She weighs approximately 20 pounds and has light brown coloring. She resembles her mother, Nutmeg, in color and is now considered the mini-mini of The Meadows. Both the mare and our new addition are being carefully monitored by our excellent Equine Therapy staff.
They are pleased to report that Cinnamon began walking and drinking milk from her mother immediately after she was born. So far, Cinnamon and Nutmeg have taken a brief nap and they have been soaking in the Arizona sunshine. Enthusiasm has been shared by both humans and animals alike; as Charlie, the dad, and Comet, Nutmeg’s brother, have been seen dancing around, jumping and being quite playful. This is a truly joyous occasion at The Meadows.
The Miniature horses that we have here at The Meadows, Center for Addiction and Trauma Treatment, are Nutmeg (the mom), Charlie (the dad), Comet (the brother) and the new addition Cinnamon (the baby girl). These miniatures are friendly and interact well with our patients and staff. For this reason they are the stable mascots.
Miniatures have natural horse behaviors, including a natural fight or flight instinct, and must be treated like a full-sized equine. Some miniatures have been known to serve as companion guides for the blind. They are also trained as service animals, akin to assistant dogs for people with disabilities. Miniature horses are also trained for driving carts, equine agility and other competitive horse show type events. While miniature horses can be trained to work indoors, they are still real horses and are healthier when allowed to live outdoors (with proper shelter and room to run).
They are generally quite hardy, often living longer on average than some full-sized horse breeds; the average life span of miniature horses is from 25 to 35 years.
To learn more about how horses play a role in treatment, visit our Equine Therapy treatment page
For additional information about the treatment of addiction and trauma, please call to speak to a Counselor at 800-244-4949 or complete an online form and we will contact you with the information you need.
Blue Roan Appaloosa
When looking out on our herd here you will notice many different horses. Some are flashy and really eye catching; others are striking in conformation or personality. It is a nice remuda of horses and full of some of the most talented therapy horses ever. We however, are going to take a closer look. Past that flash and personality is a dark colored old man standing back outside the herd. He would be easy to miss if you did not take the time to really notice.
Dude does not have all the flash. Despite being an appaloosa Dude’s color makes him look more dirty than anything else. He is not the class clown or even a very affectionate horse. He can be agreeable or not depending on the day. He stands in the warm fall breeze and looks like he is asleep. The winds play with his wispy main and tail. His head is down, eyes heavy. From where we stand it seems like he is disinterested in the daily goings on of the rest of the horses. He comes in to eat but won’t share a feeder. When he is done he goes back to his little hill and there he is…”being” in the sunshine.
He is a horse that would not get your attention right away. He is not physically as appealing as the other horses and makes himself unavailable. So what makes him such a wonderful therapy horse? It’s in the way that we had to slow down and look past the exterior “noise” to notice Dude. His personality challenges us to look past our initial assumptions and distractions and search for something deeper. He is confident and intentional. He is the head of the herd for certain. Dude has an internal strength and is completely comfortable in his own skin. He spends his day on the hill because he can see what’s going on. When there is a disagreement in his herd he meanders down…deals with it and heads back up again. He can see who leaves to work and makes sure everyone is back at the end of the day. He lives every day in simple confidence. Standing with him is like breathing for the first time. It’s a calming weight of internal strength that not many have felt.
He will show you how to slow down and be mindful. He teaches us how to recognize problems before they reach crisis as well as how to be comfortable with yourself. There is a wonderful calm knowing in Dude. His personality is not one that will just give it away, but the simple act of asking to share space with him will open a door to an old horse that can change your perspective from that moment forward.