top of page

Frequently asked questions

The following are common questions asked by our potential clients and donors. If you have a question that’s not included here, email us at We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.

  • Can I still participate in equine-assisted psychotherapy if I do not have any experience around horses or I am afraid of them?
    Yes! You do not need to have a background with horses in order to participate in equine-assisted psychotherapy. All of our horses have been trained to be with individuals in the round pen. However, it is always a good idea to treat the horse with respect and always be aware of your own personal space.
  • Are there any riding activities?
    No, all sessions are ground-based (un-mounted). If you are interested in learning horsemanship or equestrian riding, we can recommend someone within the community.
  • What do I wear?
    We recommend that you wear something that feels comfortable to you and that you don’t mind getting dirty or wet, depending on the activity. We suggest that you wear clothing that accommodates a range of temperatures. Closed toe shoes with a sturdy sole is required. If you wear sandals, you will not be permitted to interact with the horses (you will have to stay outside of the arena). Additionally, we suggest that you bring sunscreen, sun hat, sunglasses and water.
  • What do people get our of the sessions?
    Many people have commented that dealing one on one with a horse(s) is very effective, even more so than an office type therapy session. Horses are genuine, real and in the moment, providing immediate feedback to facilitate change. Because equine-assisted psychotherapy is a modality where clients create their current life (internal or external) in the arena, it gives them the opportunity to gain a new perspective in how they interact in their daily lives. Additionally, clients have shared their surprise in the deep connection that is made between them and the horse causing them to learn trust, emotional regulation and non-verbal communication to name a few.
  • Is the horse part of the therapy team?
    Yes, horses through their gentle spirit and acceptance of humans, can be a means to self-development, emotional healing and self-discovery, which make them a very important part of the team. They offer unconditional friendship, experience a wide range of feelings, and provide immediate, honest, observable feedback in response to our interaction with them. The horse brings a unique aspect to the therapeutic team given that they are sensitive to nonverbal stimulus, which makes them astute therapeutic guides. They are social beings that bring us insight into group dynamics and our individual roles we play in our daily lives. This unique modality enables individuals to learn about themselves and others by interacting with the horse(s) in an experiential exercise and then discuss their feelings, behaviors and patterns.
  • How many sessions are needed before I see relief?
    Although it is impossible to know how long someone will be in psychotherapy, we will check in with you periodically (every 4 – 6 weeks) to discuss the progress.
  • How much does a session cost?
    Each session or group of sessions depends on how many people are in each session and how many sessions you or your group require. Please contact us to learn more or call 714-477-1630. If you believe that you are unable to afford our services, please contact us to learn more about financial aid or to apply for a scholarship. We offer a Veterans equine-assisted psychotherapy program, free of charge, to all retired and active-duty U.S. Military.
  • Do I need to be in talk therapy to attend a session with the horses?
    No. Equine-assisted psychotherapy can be an effective stand-alone therapy. If you are involved in traditional therapy, equine-assisted psychotherapy can be a wonderful complement to your in-office sessions.
  • Do you take insurance?
    We do not accept insurance at this time. However, we can provide a “superbill” that you may submit for reimbursement with your insurance company.
  • Do you offer financial aid or scholarships?
    Contact us to learn how you might qualify for financial aid or to apply for a scholarship.
  • Is my donation tax-deductible?
    Rise Canyon Ranch is a California 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation – Tax ID#82-4700130. Your donations are tax-deductible.
bottom of page