Equine-Assisted Therapy

Minor in Equine-Assisted Therapy. A minor in equine-assisted therapy allows students to explore a growing field in which mental health professionals utilize horses in a therapy setting. Equine-assisted therapies differ from therapeutic riding in that the therapy setting is conducted on the ground rather than in the saddle, and the horse is part of a three-pronged therapy team (mental health specialist, equine specialist, and the horse). The EAT minor takes an interdisciplinary approach to therapy giving students additional tools and experiences to carry into their professional roles upon graduation. The minor combines well with biology and psychology for students interested in veterinary studies or further study in equine-assisted therapy or with business for students who wish to pursue equine-related business opportunities. Students will have the option to become EAGALA certified through the program.

Minor Requirements: Equine-Assisted Therapy. A minor in equine-assisted therapy requires 30 hours in coursework. Courses required for the minor are BIO 103 or BIO 210, EAT 201, EAT 202, EAT 301, EAT 302, HPE 140, PSY 101, PSY 106, PSY 325, PSY 340, and PSY 452.

Equine-Assisted Therapay (EAT) Course Descriptions

EAT 201: Herd Management 1.
Goal: To introduce and give the student hands on experience with the management of an equine herd. The course will focus on the basics of horse care, horse health management and maintenance of an equine facility.
Content: Day to day tasks of equine management, equine first aid, equine nutrition, basic veterinary care, basic farrier care, pasture and turn out management.
Taught: Fall, Alternate Years.
Prerequisites: HPE 140 (or co-requisite).
Credit: 3 hours.
 
EAT 202: Herd Management 2.
Goal: To give students an overview and understanding of situations that may arise in the management of an equine facility including equine medical emergencies, emergency management, emergency prevention and an understanding of insurance protocols as they pertain to equine facilities and clients.
Content: Herd dynamics and management, in depth equine health issues and treatments, emergency management, equine safety, client safety, business management and insurance protocols.
Taught: Spring, Alternate Years.
Prerequisites: EAT 201.
Credit: 3 hours.
 
EAT 301: Equine Assisted Therapies 1.
Goal: To provide an overview of the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) model of equine assisted psychotherapy(EAP) and understand the uses and benefits of EAP.
Content: History of horses as therapy animals; use of horses as a tool to improve mental health of individuals, families, and groups; equine specialist side of the EAGALA model; safety of horse and client; reading equine body language; developing intervention plans for safety reasons; developing appropriate activities for client and horse; evaluating horses for use in an equine-assisted program.
Taught: Fall, Alternate years.
Prerequisites: EAT 202 or permission of the instructor; BIO 103; PSY 101.
Credit: 3 hours.
 
EAT 302: Equine Assisted Therapies 2.
Goal: To utilize the EAGALA model in hands on labs in order to better understand the model, its benefits and how to set up sessions for client success.
Content: Developing and implementing plans for activities, understanding goals and outcomes of equine-assisted therapy sessions, setting up for a session, running a session, discussion and processing of an equine-assisted therapy session.
Taught: Spring, Alternate years.
Prerequisites: EAT 301.
Credit: 3 hours.
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