There have been numerous studies into equine related therapies. The American Psychological Association calls these treatments evidence-based practice in psychology (EBPP) - where the effectiveness of treatments has been extensively researched and substantiated.
Below is a brief collection of research and media relating the various therapeutic benefits interaction with horses to various mental health conditions:
It's not news that hanging out with animals can be good for human health - helping to improve blood pressure and reduce stress, for instance. But now there's a growing interest in Australia in how horses can help treat conditions such as addiction, problems with mental health, PTSD and autism. Link.
“We wanted to test whether people with dementia could have positive interactions with horses, and we found that they can—absolutely. - Holly Dabelko-Schoeny. Link.
A cognitive-behavioral therapist might use a client’s interpretation of a horse’s movements, behaviors or reactions as a metaphor to identify and change negative patterns of thinking that lead to depression or relationship problems. - Brad Klontz, Psy.D
Consider here the increased efficiency of working with horses:
''Horses offer authentic responses, especially for people hurt in human relationships,'' said Meggin Kirby, psychotherapist and founder of Equine Psychotherapy Australia (EPA). ''I can work without horses, but it can take a lot longer.'' Link