Equine therapy, which involves interactions with horses in a controlled environment, reduces fear and other symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), new research suggests.

Results from a study of about 60 military veterans who underwent weekly sessions of horse-assisted therapy showed “marked reductions” in clinican-rated and self-reported symptoms of PTSD and depression up to 3 months posttreatment.

“What we’re doing here with horses is helping people overcome something very specific to PTSD,” co-investigator Yuval Neria, PhD, professor of clinical medical psychology and director of the PTSD Treatment and Research Program, Columbia University Medical Center, New York City, told Medscape Medical News.

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