ATHENA Pilot Study

We completed 7 out of 8 possible weeks of the ATHENASM pilot with one week cancelled due to thunderstorms. 7 out of 8 weeks had 100% attendance. One week had 2 participants out. The program served 4 veterans and 2 equine partners.

Participants and equine partners demonstrated success in long lining at the walk and trot, lunging at the walk and trot, identifying and releasing the 3 points of resistance, and first steps of shoulders in and quarters in in hand. All work was designed to improve equine partners balance, muscle and rhythm so they can begin taking weight on the hind legs. When practiced regularly, this work strengthens equine partners physically and mentally for the demands of riding, therapeutic or otherwise, creating safer and sounder equine partners.


4/4 participants report improvements in horsemanship skills, communication, self-efficacy, and mindfulness.

4/4 enjoyed the program and would like to continue.

Group reported a decrease in anxiety (-16%), increase in mood (13%), and no significant decrease in pain (-1%) per weekly pre and post session self reports.

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