Equine "Horse" Therapy

What about fun? For young people addicted to drugs and alcohol, the greatest fear is that they’ll never be able to “have any fun again”. The magic of the ranch is that we can disprove that fear. We find that treating each other, the animals, and the environment with respect allows you and those around you to live the good life.

We have been successfully engaged in this “horse therapy” since 1987. We have learned over the years that the very nature of horses is healing in some significant ways. Horses are dependent creatures that respond openly to care and friendship. They do not know how to be dishonest. As prey animals, they are timid in the face of uncontrolled emotions by the person with whom they are dealing. A new resident is often heard to say, “my horse hates me.” Our response is “that he, or she, does not hate you but hates your attitude. Treat him with kindness and respect and you will notice a difference.” When the resident is able to control his emotions, the rewards are immediate.

Caring for something outside of yourself

We have created a hands on environment helping alcoholics and addicts to connect with horses, who then graciously reconnect the lost and addicted to their true selves while learning new relationship skills.  Merging the 12 step program with Equine assisted learning.  We utilize a unique approach to helping residents visualize their issues in the moment with powerful metaphors.  In this arena of life solutions to problems are discovered and adapted to the everyday recovery from drugs and alcohol.

We are an equine driven 12 step spiritual based healing program.  The healing power and extensive recovery insight that horses reflect is profound.  Horses are social animals that represent a foundation of honesty, the inability to lie, and provide unique insight into alcoholism and drug addiction (diseases of relationship).  Horses large size create useful metaphors for clients confronting their problems, problems they see as intimidating.  Clients with addiction issues also have trust issues and are more receptive to learning from animals that have no agenda.  The reflective characteristics of horses are an amazing tool when coupled with cognitive behavioral therapy that creates an environment for lasting change due to in “in the moment experiences.”

Meet our Assistant Therapists

In life we all make mistakes. Our horses are forgiving and ready to partner. Our herd has been built with new and more advanced riders in mind.


Skyland Ranch takes pride in the care that is done for our horses. Our horses are cared for with a high level of expertise and compassion, provided by the staff, farriers on-site, veterinarian, and the guys that come to the ranch. We provide this level of care to not only benefit our horses health and state of mind, but also with the knowledge that the better we can care for our horses, the better they will be able to help fulfill our mission.


You can help us provide the best care of a Skyland ranch horse through the Sponsor a Horse program we have. The Sponsorship helps provide routine vet and farrier visits, hay, tack, blankets, bedding, staff, and supplements needed.