Tag Archives: Equine Growth and Learning Association

Equine Therapy Certifications: Which Is Best? by Claire Dorotik

Recently, a member of the Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association (EFMHA), www.narha.org, posed an important question. New to the field of equine therapy, and only just beginning to amass an understanding of the practice, this horse enthusiast was wondering which of the many certifications now available in the horse healing world would be best.

The question is worth pondering for sure as with the recent growth of equine therapy, new certifications have emerged. Probably the most popular is the Equine Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA), www.eagala.org. With a very behavioral approach, and several practiced exercises to be performed with the horse, EAGALA gives the equine practitioner a clear method, goal, and theory. While the relationship with the horse is always occurring within the EAGALA sessions, it is secondary to the attempt and completion of the exercise with the horse. What is interpreted is just how the client approaches the exercise, the outcome of this approach, and how to alter it to influence a different outcome. Certainly some professionals have appreciated EAGALA’s methods, yet others have criticized the apparent disregard for the horse. This criticism has extended beyond the importance of the development of a relationship with the horse for both the client and the horse, but also to the overall welfare of the horse as some of the exercises challenge the horse’s inherent nature.

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