(Mount Saint Vincent University, 2014) McNutt, Katherine; Turner, Joan
The focus of this study was to gain insight into the experiences of children who participate in equine assisted therapy (EAT). The study used a qualitative child-based approach focused on accessing the perspectives of children and their experience participating in EAT. A thematic analysis (Attride-Sterling, 2001), was used to identify basic, organizing, and global themes. The three global themes that were identified from analysis of the photographic and textual data indicate that participation in EAT can lead to: 1) the formation of meaningful relationships and connections; 2) positive experiences for the individual; and 3) opportunities for development.
The results of the study provide evidence that EAT programs can be a successful form of intervention for children with special needs. Future research should continue to use a child-based approach and aim to include a greater number of participants to increase the diversity of voices of children with special needs who participate in EAT.