Our mission at Medicine Horse is to save lives and promote healing through the empathic power of horses. Equine-facilitated psychotherapy and learning (EFP and EFL) have become widely renowned for their effectiveness. In 2000, Medicine Horse, a mental health organization located on a small dairy farm in Boulder County, utilized animal-assisted therapy to help at-risk youth. By working with horses, therapists were able to achieve unprecedented levels of therapeutic intervention, bringing hope and healing to those who needed it most.
Now, EFP is a proven therapeutic approach involving horses and a licensed therapist to conduct experiential activities. Studies show that it reduces anxiety and depression and improves self-esteem, communication, and overall well-being.
Over the past 22 years, Medicine Horse has grown and improved, expanding its ability to serve a diverse population through various programs. These programs include consistent group sessions for veterans, women affected by breast cancer, LGBTQ+ youth, LatinX youth, families, individuals experiencing grief, and teens in substance abuse recovery. The organization proudly offers these programs at no cost to participants, as affordable mental health care is essential.
Medicine Horse continued to offer individual therapy during the pandemic by operating outdoors in nature, thus adhering to social distancing guidelines. The increased demand for mental health services has caused programs to be waitlisted.
In 2022, we moved to a larger facility in East Boulder County, located precisely on the county line of Boulder and Weld. That year, our signature programs, partnerships, and individual therapies provided 2266 Equine Facilitated Therapy and Learning hours.
In 2023, Medicine Horse introduced a new corporate offer to promote team-building, collaboration, conflict management, and problem-solving while preventing burnout. Our unique program involves equine-assisted exercises led by experienced facilitators amidst the stunning beauty of nature and mountain views. What sets Medicine Horse apart from other team-building programs is that our corporate programs also support our free mental health programs. When corporations work with us, they are not only investing in their team but also the community.
Thanks to our therapists, a solid clinical intern program, animals, and facilities that can now accommodate larger groups and year-long programming, the organization is well-prepared to take the next step forward to service more of our community. The organization is committed to continuously defining what constitutes a quality equine program regarding equine care and the outcomes for the humans involved.