Equine-Assisted Therapy (EAT) is a non-profit organization that was started by a registered nurse to provide persons who are developmentally disabled with a unique horseback experience, which strengthens and supports the natural motion of the spine and pelvis. This type of therapeutic riding delivers specific health benefits, such as improved respiration, circulation, balance, and body metabolism along with greater muscle strength and agility.
According to the EAT's website, the warmth and motion of horses mimicks that of the human body, and can reduce muscle spasticity in the legs, back, neck and arms of riders. Mounting, dismounting and grooming also enhance a person's range of motion.
Psychosocial benefits reported from equine-assisted therapy are improvements in self-esteem, self-image, and interpersonal skills.
Riders are charged a small fee, but that covers less than a fourth of the operating cost. Funding for this program comes from fundraisers, special events, individual and corporate donations, and government grants.
Equine-Assisted Therapy has three locations to serve St. Louis county and surrounding areas, with the Wildwood arena being the newest one established during 2010.
EAT is a member of NARHA, formerly North American Riding for the Handicap Association. EAT's founders are certified NARHA instructors.
- Fax: 636-257-8193
- Hours: Varies
- Handicap Accessible: Entire human/horse-therapy program built around those working with physical and mental challenges
- Founding Date: 2003
- Parking: Free lot
- Scope: Local, Regional
- Type: Animal causes, Health and Disability, Mental health