Equine Therapy

The word Equinoterapia (IAE [intervenciones asistidas por equinos]) refers to all the activities carried out with horses that are aimed at achieving some benefit for the quality of life of all those involved in the activities. Currently the IAE are divided into 3 sectors: Terapy (Hippotherapy, Psychotherapy y Social Therapy), Educacation (Horseback-riding school, Professional training and volunteering), and leisure (Playful and Adapted Sports Riding) with different objectives, methodologies and intervention protocols. 

Throughout years of work together, horses have proven to have features that, if well exploited, can help us to improve the quality of life and not only of people with physical, cognitive, educational and social disabilities. It is currently being used as an interdisciplinary set of therapeutic and educational techniques that is based on the collaboration of several professional branches, such as physiotherapy, psychology, pedagogy, coaching, nursing, speech therapy, and ethology among others.

In AEDEQ we start from the principle that to guarantee respect and safety to our users we have first of all respect the animals, our horses, the nature and our environments: this also means we must have adequate structures in which horses feel like they are free. Horses are social beings, just like us, and they need their space to interact with other animals. Our horses live in freedom and in a herd. Your experience in social relationships allows us to see how we relate to others. In this way the horse serves as a mirror to reflect on our behavior and to generate relationships based on respect and mutual trust.

Foto equinoterapia



Hippotherapy is considered as a therapeutic treatment that has rehabilitative value at a physical and neurophysiological level. Thanks to body heat, rhythmic impulses and walk gait of the horse, physiotherapists specialized in hippotherapy develop personalized programs to help people with physical disabilities or reduced mobility.

This discipline is considered as the first phase in Equine Therapy because the riders do not have enough autonomy to lead a horse on their own. For this reason it is necessary the presence of a qualified physiotherapist who helps the rider in the process of reaching the next stage, the Therapeutic Riding.

Who is Hippotherapy for?

  • People with physical disabilities
    • (Achondroplasia, Friedrich's ataxia, Spastic diplegia, Hemiparesis, Hypotonia and nonspecific psychomotor retardation, Brain lesions, Cerebral palsy, Smith Magenis syndrome, Rett syndrome, Spastic tetraparesis, Coordination disorders and psychomotor retardation)


Benefits provided by Hippotherapy:

  • Helps improve posture
  • Improves muscle tone
  • Improves the balance
  • Reduces spasticity
  • Teaches to relax
  • Generates motivation and increases self-esteem
  • Works on gaining confidence and autonomy
  • Improves body control

Social Equinetherapy

This discipline uses the same principles as Therapeutic Riding but focused on assisting people with problems of social adaptation. Equestrian activities are carried out in which the affective relationships generated with the horses are used to help the users to resolve their conflicts and thus achieve re-integration into society.

From AEDEQ we disseminate the teaching of a nonverbal communication, assertive and without violence. Horses tend to be collaborators but to achieve this they must trust us. The best way to achieve this goal is through resilience, calmness, and consistency. What we are looking for is for each rider to establish a relationship based on mutual respect and trust with its horse, which the rider can later transfer to its daily interpersonal relationships.

Who is Social Equinotherapy for?

  • People with behavioral problems
    • (Insecurity, Phobias, Low Self-esteem, Bipolar Disorder, Addictions, Anxiety, Depression, Borderline Personality)


Benefits provided by Social Equinotherapy

  • Teaches to relate with assertiveness
  • Improves interpersonal relationships
  • Develops respect for nature, animals and people
  • Increases self-esteem
  • Helps to confront phobias, increasing self-confidence
  • Teaches to control emotions and impulses

Horse-assisted psychotherapy

In this discipline, also called Psychopedagogical Equitation, psychological and / or educational interventions are carried out assisted by horses, with the purpose of helping people affected by a disability to find learning and adaptation solutions. The combination of the equestrian play environment and the horse as a collaborator represent a source of motivation for users who learn to cope in this area.

When developing "horsemanship" skills, users not only learn to care for horses, but also to relate in an assertive way with them and thus be able to transfer those dynamics to their daily lives. In addition, through the beneficial properties of the horse, they manage to increase their level of independence, stimulate affectivity, tactile, visual, auditory and olfactory sensibility, also helping to improve the guided learning.  

Who is Therapeutic Riding for?

  • People with psychological disorders
    • (Anxiety, Depression, Dysmia, OCD, Hyperactivity, Schizophrenia, Psychosis)
  • People with cognitive disorders
    •  (Autism, Down syndrome, Parkinson's, Psychomotor delay, Sensory disability)
  • People with learning difficulties
    •  (Attention deficit, lack of language or impoverished language, Ecolalias)


Benefits provided by Therapeutic Riding:

  • Improves self-esteem
  • Works on attention and concentration
  • Works on memory
  • Increases self-confidence
  • Teaches to manage emotions

Adapted Riding

The riders who practice Adapted Riding do it in a playful or sporty way. However, they require adaptations to be able to ride a horse, how to carry special reins, adapted frames, auditory signals among others. The difference between this discipline and the others is that the riders no longer practice it as part of a therapeutic process, but rather as leisure because it is funny or exciting.

Adapted Equitation is part of the Equine Therapies because, although the riders perform these activities for fun, the learning that they take is enriching on holistic level. In general, a person who knows how to relate to an animal of these dimensions, will have more strategies and tools to use in its daily life. In addition, if they train a lot, they will be able to participate in Paraecuestres activities or competitions, with the option of going to the Paralympics. 

Who is Adapted Riding for?

  • People with physical or cognitive disabilities who are passionate about horse riding and who want to practice it in a playful or sporty way.


Benefits provided by Adapted Riding

  • Increases self-confidence
  • Works on assertiveness and resilience
  • Teaches to take care of nature and horses
  • Develops non-verbal communication
  • Develops respect for nature, animals and people
  • Increases self-esteem
  • Develops of the proprioceptive system