Equine therapy is the discipline of using horses as a means to provide metaphoric experiences in order to promote emotional growth. The horses provide an excellent way for troubled youth to react when they are otherwise therapy resistant. Equine therapists will usually teach many lessons on ways in which horses learn, react, and follow instructions to the lives of youth themselves.
'Becoming an Equine Therapist '
One must get an undergraduate degrees in animal science or veterinary technology. After undergraduate school, students may choose to become physical therapists by obtaining master's or doctoral degrees in physical therapy, which entail two to three years of graduate coursework. They must then obtain licensure and may be required to gain apprenticeship or postgraduate training specific to equine physical therapy. In such cases, they might have to gain several years of experience working with humans before qualifying for equine physical therapy apprenticeships.
Equine physical therapists must be experienced with horses from both medical and riding standpoints. Familiarity and intuition with horses and their movements can prevent injuries when working with these animals. The ability to communicate the animals' needs effectively to owners is also important for extended treatment and the owners' peace of mind.
In May 2012, the median annual salaries earned by veterinarians and physical therapists was $84,460 and $79,860, respectively. The employment of physical therapists will likely grow by 39% between 2010 and 2020.
Responsibilities of an Equine Therapist:
An equine rehabilitation therapist works with veterinarians, trainers, farriers and owners in order to reach a common goal of healing the horse from illness or physical distress without the need for surgical intervention. After evaluating the animal, equine rehabilitation therapists use a variety of healing modalities in order to help the horse to fully recover from musculature, nervous system and joint ailments.