Mental Health Effects of Equine Therapy with Children

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Capstone Project

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Laura Meyer

Second Advisor

Hale Martin

Third Advisor

Brian Hopper


Therapeutic riding, Quantitative research, Adolescents, Children, Equine therapy


This study examined the effects of eight weekly lessons of therapeutic horseback riding (THR) on five children between the ages of 6 and 12 years who displayed behavioral issues, mood disturbance, relationship issues, or other mental health disorders. All of the children's parents/caregivers completed the Child Behavior Checklist for Ages 6-18 at the onset of the lessons and at the conclusion of the lessons. The children did not show any significant improvement on the Internalizing, Externalizing, Total Problems scales or the syndrome scales. However, comparisons between the pre-test and post-test scores on the Behavior scale and the Externalizing scale showed positive trends which warrant further study. The lack of significance in the data suggests that a greater participant population or a mixed method study using a combination of quantitative and qualitative strategies may yield more conclusive results.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


21 pages

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