Women and Horses: Using Equine Assisted Therapy to Facilitate Mindful Behaviors


The women and horses program is an experience unlike any other.  The program pairs women with therapy horses and invites them to explore areas of mindfulness, self-reflection, and personal growth within a 6 week long period.

In the spring of 2016, we began our women and horses session with four women.  They were all asked if they would like to volunteer to participate in a questionnaire study that would monitor how mindful and how present they were being on a weekly basis throughout the 6 week program. The women were sent shophotort questionnaires twice a week that asked questions like, “How often [within the past week] have you paid attention to sensations, such as the wind in your hair or the sun on your face?” and “How often [within the past week] have you felt loved and wanted?”. 

Over the course of 6 weeks, we found that overall, the women reported to have felt less strung-up, less unhappy or depressed, and that they felt more comfortable expressing their emotions.  The women also reported, overall, to have paid more attention to individual moments throughout their days, and to have paid more attention to sensations, to the people around them, and to how their daily lives were affecting those around them.  All four women reported that they had enjoyed the program and that it allowed them to become more accepting, more trusting, and less judgmental of themselves or of others. 

Although this very preliminary look at the women and horses program only featured four subjects, the data reflects themes that have been seen in almost all women who have previously participated in this program.  They include awareness of sensations, acceptance, trust, awareness of their inpact on others, better indicators of their emotions, and non-judgement and non-reactivity to inner experiences.

Rachael Judice

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WOMEN AND HORSES: Intro to Women’s Equine Series 2015


Saturday March 7, 2015
9:00 to 12:00
Fee: $50.00
Location: Cherokee Horse Farm (map below)
Attendance: 6 – 12 Participants

 No horse experience necessary. Designed for women, this 3 hour interactive (ground work only) orientation introduces you to the nature of the horse, basic communication, grooming and safety. Perfect for women with no equine experience or those wishing to escape their demanding responsibilities for a few hours and relax with a friend. Taught in a safe, small group by licensed, gentle, certified instructors, the session will be held at the beautiful Cherokee Ridge Horse Farm in Carencro. (Boots or tennis shoes suggested footwear).

This program is a prerequisite for the 5-week Women’s Equine Series* that will begin, on Friday, MArch 20 and end on April 17 (5 Fridays).

To register for Saturday’s session call: 337-233-8911 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Facilitated by: Anne E. Babineaux M.A. and Dixie B. Ferrata, M.S. Both are certified therapeutic riding instructors of the Acadiana Therapeutic Riding Organization (ATRO).

• Please note: if you are interested in the Five Week Women's Personal Growth Through Equine Series that will begin on Friday MArch 20 through April 17 (Friday mornings 9:00-12:00) the above Intro Session is a Prerequisite. Please contact Anne to register for this Series as well. Space is limited to 4-5 participants. Fee for the Series is $300. (Boots recommended for the equine series)