Home » Blogs » Equine Therapy » EQUINE-ASSISTED THERAPY: A Short Reading List


equine therapy reading listFor those of you who are interested in the emerging field of equine therapy, finding pertinent resources can sometimes be challenging. While there are many books written on horses and people, and many more written on just horses themselves, they may not entirely explain what equine therapy is, or how it can be used.

In order to address this need, I have compiled an exhaustive reading list. The list is a s follows:

All, A., Loving, G. and Crane, L. (1999) Animals, Horseback Riding and Implications for Rehabilitation Therapy. Journal of Rehabilitation, 65 (3): 49-87

Baker, W. (2004) Healing Power of Horses: Lessons from the Lakota Indians. Irvine, CA: Bow Tie Press

Bass, M., Duchowny, C. and Llabre, M. (2009) The Effect of Therapeutic Horseback Riding on Social Functioning in Children with Autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 39 (9): 1261-1267

Bertoti, D. (1988) Effect of Therapeutic Horseback Riding on Posture in Children with Cerebral Palsy. Paper presented at the 6th International Therapeutic Riding Congress, Toronto, Canada, 23-27 August

Bexson, T. (2008) Horse Sense, Mental Health Today, February 2008, pp. 16-17

Bizub, A., Joy, A., and Davidson, L. (2003) “Its like being in another world”: Demonstrating the Benefits of Therapeutic Horseback Riding for Individuals with Psychiatric Disability. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 26 (4): 377-384

Blake, H. (1975) Talking with Horses: A Study of Communication between Man and Horse. London: Souvenir Press

Bowers, M. and MacDonald, P. (2001) The Effectiveness of Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy with At-Risk Adolescents. Journal of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, 15: 62-76

Brandt, K. (2004) A Language of Their Own: An Interactionist Approach to Human-Horse Communication. Society and Animals, 12 (4): 299-316

Brock, B. (1988) “Therapy on horseback: psychomotor and psychological change in physically disabled adults”. Paper presented at the 6th International Therapeutic Riding Congress, Toronto, Canada, 23-27 August

Broersma, P. (2007) Riding into Your Mythic Life: Transformational Adventures with the Horse.

Novato CA: New World Library

Brooks, S. (2006) Animal-Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy. In N. Webb (Ed.) Working with Traumatized Youth in Child Welfare. New York: The Guildford Press

Budiansky, S. (1998) The Nature of Horses: Their Evolution, Intelligence and Behaviour. London: Phoenix Press

Burgon, H. (2011) ‘Queen of the World’: Experiences of ‘at-risk’ young people participating in equine-assisted learning/therapy. Journal of Social Work Practice (in press – first published on-line 14 March 2011)

Burgon, H. (2003) Case studies of adults receiving horse riding therapy. Anthrozoos, 16 (3): 263-276

Cawley, R., Cawley, M. and Retter, K. (1994) Therapeutic Horseback riding and self-concept in adolescents with special educational needs. Anthrozoos, 7 (2): 129-134

Chamberlin, J. (2007) Horse: How The Horse Has Changed Civilisations. Oxford: Signal

Chardonnens, E. (2009) The Use of Animals as Co-Therapists on a Farm: The Child-Horse Bond in Person-Centred Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy. Person Centred and Experimental Psychotherapies, 8 (4): 319-332

Cushing, J. and Williams, J. (1995) The Wild Mustang Programme; A Case Study in Facilitated Inmate Therapy. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 22 (3-4): 95-112

Davies, S. and Jones, N. A. (Eds.) (1997) The Horse in Celtic Culture: Medieval Welsh Perspectives. Cardiff: University of Wales Press

Dell, C., Chalmers, D., Dell, D., Sauve, E. and MacKinnon, T. (2008) Horse as Healer: An Examination of Equine Assisted Learning in the Healing of First Nations Youth from Solvent Abuse. Pimatisiwin: A Journal of Aboriginal and Indigenous Community Health, 6(1): 81-106

Donaghy, G. (2006) Equine Assisted Therapy. Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 26 (4): 5

Dorrance, B. and Desmond, B. (2001) True Horsemanship through Feel. Guilford, Connecticut: Lyons Press

Engel, B. (1984) The horse as a modality for Occupational Therapy. In F. Cromwell (Ed.) The Changing Roles of Occupational Therapists in the 1980’s. New York: Haworth Press

Engel, B. (Ed.) (1997) Rehabilitation with the aid of a horse: a collection of studies. Durango, Colorado: Barbara Engel Therapy Services

Esbjourn, R. (2006) Why Horses Heal: A Qualitative Inquiry into Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy. Doctoral Thesis. Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, CA

Evans, R. and Franklin, A. (2010) Equine Beats: Unique Rhythms (And Floating Harmony) Of Horses And Their Riders. In T. Edensor, (Ed.) Geographies of Rhythm, Nature, Place, Mobility and Bodies. Aldershot: Ashgate

Ewing, C., MacDonald, P., Taylor, M. and Bowers, J. (2007) Equine-Facilitated Learning for Youths with Severe Emotional Disorders: A Quantitative and Qualitative Study. Child Youth Care Forum, 36: 59-72

Frame, D. (2006) Practices of Therapists Using Equine Facilitated/Assisted Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Adolescents Diagnosed with Depression: A Qualitative Study. Doctoral Thesis. New York University

Frewin, K. and Gardiner, B. (2005) New Age or Old Sage: A Review of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. Australian Journal of Counselling Psychology, 6: 13-17

Game, A. (2001) Riding: Embodying the Centaur. Body & Society, 7 (1): 1-12

Gammage, D. (2008) Case study 2: Equine-assisted therapy, Counselling children and young people. BACP quarterly journal, March, p.5

Garcia, D. (2010) Of Equines and Humans: Toward a New Ecology. Ecopsychology, 2 (2): 85-89

Gehrke, E., Baldwin, A. and Schiltz, P. (2011) Heart Rate Variability in Horses Engaged in Equine-Assisted Activities. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, 31: 78-84

Gehrke, E. (2006) A Study of Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Between Horses and Humans. Paper presented to NARHA Annual Conference, Indianapolis, USA, 11 November

Hayden, A. (2005) An Exploration of the Experiences of Adolescents Who Participated in Equine Faciliated Psychotherapy: A Resiliency Perspective. Doctoral Thesis. Alliant International University

Held, C. (2006) Horse Girl: An Archetypal Study of Women, Horses, And Trauma Healing. Doctoral Thesis, Pacifica Graduate Institute.

Henrickson, J. (1971) Horseback riding for the handicapped. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 52(6): 282-283

HM Prison Service (2004) Horses for courses. Prison Service News, available online at,18,3,18,0,0 [accessed on 16.6.2010]

Houpt, K., Law, K. and Martinisi, V. (1978) Dominance hierarchies in domestic horses. Applied Animal Ethology, 4(3): 273–83

Howey, M. (2002) The Horse in Magic and Myth. New York: Dover Publications, Inc

Hyland, A. (1996) The Medieval Warhorse From Byzantium To The Crusades. Stroud, Glos: Sutton Publishing

Irwin, C. (2005) Dancing with your Dark Horse: How Horse Strength Helps Us Find Balance, Strength And Wisdom. New York: Marlowe and Company

Isaacson, R. (2009) Horse Boy: A Father’s Miraculous Journey To Heal His Son. London: Viking/Penguin Books

Jackson, S. (2006) The Horse in Myth and Legend. Stroud, Glos: Tempus Publishing Ltd

Jones, B. (1983) Just crazy about horses: The fact behind the fiction. In A. Katcher and A. Beck (Eds.), New perspectives on our lives with companion animals.  Philadelphia, USA: University of Pennsylvania Press

Kaiser, L., Spence, J., Lavergne, A. And Bosch, K. (2004) Can a week of therapeutic riding make a difference? – A pilot study. Anthrozoos, 17 (1): 63-72

Kaiser, L., Smith, K., Heleski, C. and Spence, L. (2006) Effects of a therapeutic riding program on at-risk and special educational children. Journal of American Medical Association, 228 (1): 46-52

Karol, J. (2007) Applying a Traditional Individual Psychotherapy Model to Equine-facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP): Theory and Method. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 12: 77-90

Kimball, C. (2002) Mindful Horsemanship: Increasing your awareness one day at a time. Middleton, New Hampshire: Carriage House Publishing

Kiley-Worthington, M. (1987) The Behaviour of Horses: In relation to management and training. London: J.A. Allen

Kirby, M. (2010) Gestalt Equine Psychotherapy. Gestalt Journal of Australia and New Zealand. 6 (2): 60-68

Klontz, B., Bivens, A., Leinart, D. and Klontz, T. (2007) The Effectiveness of Equine-Assisted Experiential Therapy: Results of an Open Clinical Trial. Society and Animals, 15: 257-267

Kohanov, L. (2001) The Tao of Equus: a woman’s journey of healing and transformation through the way of the horse. Novato, CA: New World Library

Kohanov, L. (2005) Riding Between The Worlds: Expanding Our Potential Through The Way Of The Horse. Novato, CA: New World Library

Kunzle, U, Steinlin, E, Yasikoff, N (1994) “Hippotherapy-K”: The Healing Rhythmical Movement of the Horse for Patients with Multiple Sclerosis. In Eaton, P (Ed.), Eighth International Therapeutic Riding Congress: the complete papers, New Zealand: National Training Resource Centre

Lentini, J. and Knox, M. (2009) A Qualitative and Quantitative Review of Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) with Children and Adolescents. The Open Complementary Medicine Journal, 1: 51-57

Llewellyn, A. (Ed.) (2007) The Healing Touch of Horses: True Stories of Courage, Hope and Transformative Power of the Human/Equine Bond. Avon, MA: Adams Media

Loch, S. (1999) The Royal Horse of Europe: The Story of the Andalusian and Lusitano. London: JA Allen

MacKinnon, J., Noh, S., Laliberte, J. and Allan, D. (1995) Therapeutic Horseback Riding: a review of the literature. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Paediatrics, 15 (1): 1-15

MacSwiney of Mashanaglass, The Marquis, O. (1987) Training from the Ground: A Special Approach. London: J.A. Allen & Co

Mayberry, R (1978) The Mystique of the Horse is Strong Medicine: Riding as Therapeutic Recreation. Rehabilitation Literature, 38 (6): 192-196

McCormick, A. and McCormick, M. (1997) Horse Sense and the Human Heart; What Horses Can Teach Us About Trust, Bonding, Creativity and Spirituality. Florida: Health Communications Inc

McCormick, A., McCormick, M. and McCormick, T. (2004) Horses and the Mystical Path: The Celtic Way of Expanding the Human Soul: Novato, CA: New World Library

McGreevy, P. (2004) Horse Behaviour. London: Elsevier Saunders

Meinersmann, K., Bradberry, J. and Bright Roberts, F. (2008) Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy with Adult Female Survivors of Abuse. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing, 46 (12): 36-42

Mistral, K. (2007) Heart to Heart: A Quantitative Approach to Measuring the Emotional Bond between Horses and Humans. Horse Connection Magazine, August, pp 44-47

Moreau, L. (2001) Outlaw Riders: Equine-facilitated therapy with juvenile capital offenders, Reaching Today’s Youth, 5 (2): 27-30 available online at [accessed 24/2/2008]

O’Rourke, K. (2004) Horse-assisted therapy: Good for humans, but what about the horses? Journal of the American Veterinary Association, 204: 131–133

Rashid, M. (2004) Horses never Lie: the heart of passive leadership. Newton Abbot, Devon: David & Charles

Rector, B. (2005) Adventures in Awareness: Learning with the Help of Horses. Bloomington, Indiana: AuthorHouse

Rees, L. (1984) The Horse’s Mind. London: Stanley Paul

Roberts, M. (2000) Horse Sense for People. London: HarperCollins

Roberts, F., Bradberry, J. and Williams, C. (2004) Equine-facilitated psychotherapy benefits students and children. Holistic Nursing Practice, 18 (1): 32-35

Rolfe, J. (2007) Ride from the Heart: The Art of Communication between Horse and Rider. London: JA Allen

Rothe, E., Vega, B., Torres, R., Soler, S. and Pazos, R. (2005) From Kids and Horses: Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy for Children. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 5 (2): 373-383

Runnquist, A. (Ed.) (1957) Horses in Fact and Fiction. London: Jonathan Cape

Scanlan, L. (2001) Wild About Horses: Our Timeless Passion for the Horse. New York, Perennial.

Schultz, P., Remick-Barlow, G. and Robbins, L. (2007) Equine-assisted Psychotherapy: a mental health promotion/intervention modality for children who have experienced intra-family violence. Health and Social Care in the Community, 15 (3): 265-271

Smith-Osborne, A. and Selby, A. (2010) Implications of the Literature on Equine-Assisted Activities for Use as a Complementary Intervention in Social Work Practice with Children and Adolescents. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal, 27 (4):291–307

Soren, I. (2001) The Zen of Horseriding. London: Little, Brown and Company

Tottle, S. (1998) Bodysense: Revolutionize your Riding with the Alexander Technique. North Pomfret, Vermont: Trafalgar Square Books

Trotter, K., Chandler, C., Goodwin, D. and Casey, J. (2008) A Comparative Study of the Efficacy of Group Equine Assisted Counselling With At-Risk Children and Adolescents. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 3 (3): 254-284

Vidrine, M., Owen-Smith, P. and Faulkner, P. (2002) Equine-Facilitated Group Psychotherapy: applications for therapeutic Vaulting. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 23 (6): 587-603

Walker, E. (2008) Horse. London: Reaktion Books

Yorke, J., Adams, C. and Coady. N (2008) Therapeutic Value of Equine-Human Bonding in Recovery from Trauma. Anthrozoos, 21 (1): 17-30

Young, R. (2005) Horsemastership part 1: Therapeutic components and link to occupational therapy. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 12 (2): 78-83

Young, R. and Bracher, M. (2005) Horsemastership part 2: Physical, psychological, educational and social benefits. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 12 (3):120-125

Photo by Quinn Dombrowsky, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.


Claire Dorotik-Nana, LMFT

Claire Dorotik-Nana LMFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in post-traumatic growth, leveraging adversity, and other epic human achievements. Claire has written multiple continuing education courses for Professional Development Resources, Zur Institute, and International Sport Science Association. Claire has also authored multiple books, including:
Leverage: The Science of Turning Setbacks into Springboards and On The Back Of A Horse: Harnessing The Healing Power Of The Human-Equine Bond. For more information about Leveraging Adversity or Claire, visit

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APA Reference
Dorotik-Nana, C. (2011). EQUINE-ASSISTED THERAPY: A Short Reading List. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 27, 2020, from


Last updated: 4 Apr 2011
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