In response to a paper published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, the Horses and Humans Research Foundation is seeking help to fund research into equine assisted therapy.

The following is an excerpt from a recent Horses and Humans Research Foundation newsletter:

The paper, titled Equine-related Treatments for Mental Disorders Lack Empirical Support: A Systematic Review of Empirical Investigations, concludes: “The current evidence base does not justify the marketing and utilization of ERT (EAP and THR) for mental disorders. Such services should not be offered to the public unless and until well – designed studies provide evidence that justify different conclusions”. The authors also recommend; “in view of the current evidence base, individuals in need of mental health services avoid seeking out ERT and treatment centers avoid practicing this approach. We further urge major organizations, such as the United States armed forces and United States department of Veterans Affairs, to hold off on the implementation of ERT (EAP and THR) programs on a wide scale basis unless and until a strong research foundation for this treatment emerges.”

To have this published in a highly regarded peer reviewed journal challenges all of us. The article is clearly arguing that there is not sufficient research to support the endorsement of equine assisted programs for people with mental health disorders. While the shortage of research support for equine assisted interventions is not a surprise, we can no longer afford to stand on the sidelines simply giving voice to our understanding of this need. We must take action. We need research. We need it now.

HHRF has worked diligently for close to a decade establishing a rigorous process for reviewing, selecting, and funding excellent research from an increasingly impressive array of applicants. We have a four-tier review process and a highly qualified group of scientific advisors and reviewers. We are limited only by funding. If you support the healing role of the horse in therapeutic settings then make an investment in research today by supporting HHRF. Change the outcome of the next research review of this kind. Click here to donate now.