• What is Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)?

It is an experiential and solution-oriented treatment model that works with a mental health professional, equine specialist, and horses to treat mental health issues. EAP is different than therapeutic riding, it is focused primarily on the treatment of emotional and mental health concerns with a licensed mental health professional.

  • What is Equine Assisted Learning?

Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) is similar to Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP); however, services are not treating a specific mental health disorder. EAL is a useful intervention for less severe issues such as personal or professional growth, improving communication and team building, and skill development in individual and group settings.

  • What is EAGALA?

The Equine Assisted Growth And Learning Association (EAGALA) is a global network of highly professional and passionate individuals incorporating horses in services and activities to treat mental illness and support personal and professional growth. To become EAGALA certified the professional attends specialized training in partnering with horses to facilitate equine-assisted psychotherapy services. In order to maintain their certification, the professional must participate in continued education and trainings every two years specific to the EAGALA model.

EAGALA adheres to four core standards:

Team Approach

• Focus on the Ground

• Solution-Oriented

• Code of Ethics

For more information please visit www.eagala.org

Who is on the treatment team?

Each equine session has a treatment team consisting of a minimum of one licensed mental health professional, an equine specialist, and of course a horse (or several horses).

  • Why horses?

As prey animals in the wild, horses have learned to survive through sensing energy in their fellow herd members and surrounding environment as a way of keeping themselves safe. This instinct allows a unique opportunity for therapy services as the horses reflect the client’s internal state even when a client may present something entirely different on the outside. They communicate both verbally and non-verbally and have the some of the fastest reaction times of any animal on the planet. This allows horses to provide accurate, honest, and immediate feedback. Additionally, as large, intelligent, and powerful animals, they provide clients the opportunity to overcome fears and develop confidence that can transfer into other areas in their lives. Every horse is also an individual, and, like humans, they have their own unique experiences in this world, personalities, and moods.

What do the horses do in sessions?

During most sessions the horses are “at liberty.” This means that the horses are left loose in the arena or pasture to allow them to simply be themselves. This allows horses the opportunity to engage or disengage in session as they please and offers the most genuine experience for connection as they interact with clients and other horses in the space.

  • Do we get to ride the horses?

No. Our program at Evergreen Equine Therapy follows the EAGALA model and adheres to a ground-based program. The focus on the ground allows for a greater level of connection within the relationship with the horse and the opportunity for clients to gain a greater depth of understanding through the metaphors developed in session.

* if it sounds different, it’s because it is! It is special, Horses Healing Humans……

What if I’m scared or nervous about interacting with horses?

Here at Evergreen Equine our first priority is to make sure you are safe and secure as well as our horses at all times, that is our goal!. If you are feeling anxious or nervous about sessions we will take it one step at a time. We will patiently work with you to journey through the fears and help you find a path in treatment at a pace that works for you.

  • Is this right for me?

Regardless of your level of horse experience, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning may be right for you. Our treatment model is ground-based therefore there is no riding involved and no prior horse experience or horse knowledge is required to benefit from services.

Equine services are rendered outdoors in an arena with dirt footing and we recommend you dress in closed toe shoes and wear layers depending on the weather. The facility at Evergreen Equine Therapy is designed to accommodate people of all ages and of all different ability levels.

During our initial intake we will go over your individual needs and concerns and will address any questions you have about the process. During that process our team will determine if services will benefit your individual needs and we will do our best to provide referrals to other resources should our services not match your needs.

  • How long does treatment last?

Every case is unique and services are designed to meet your individual needs. Some find that equine assisted services offer more insight than traditional “how do you feel” models and therefore find the services ( therapeutic sessions ) beneficial in helping clients meet their goals at a faster rate. Please feel free to contact us for additional information or to schedule an intake.

  • How much do sessions cost?

Please visit our “Fees” page for more information.

All rates and fees will be discussed prior to the onset of treatment and you will receive proper notification if there are ever any changes to the scheduled fees.

Do you take insurance?

At this time we are only accepting private payment for services. There are several important factors that have contributed to this decision. There is always a chance your insurance may choose to not cover you based on your mental health diagnosis. Our services are designed to meet your individual needs as opposed to structuring sessions based on what insurance will or will not cover.

If you want to use your insurance, we do provide out of network benefits. We have found that some clients have out of network benefits that can cover as much as 100% of services, while others unfortunately do not have any out of network benefits available. We highly suggest you contact your insurance provider to discuss your out of network benefits prior to beginning treatment.

If you do qualify for out of network benefits, your therapist can provide you will a super-bill at the end of session to present to your insurance to seek reimbursement. A super-bill is an itemized receipt for mental health services that includes a mental health diagnosis code and treatment code that your insurance will process to bill for services. At the time of your session you pay the full session fee using cash, check, or credit/debit and then you submit the super-bill to your insurance provider. Once they approve the claim they will send reimbursement based on what is available through your out of network benefits.

Remember that it is the responsibility of the payer to contact their insurance to find out what benefits are covered by their plan prior to the onset of treatment. It is important to note that a super-bill will only be generated once you and your therapist have discussed and agreed upon this option.

  • Where are your services located?

Our equine services are provided at

Evergreen Equine Center

7730 Evergreen Dr.

Goleta, CA, 93117

• You will come to the end of Evergreen Drive and come through the black electric gates that will be open. Drive down the driveway and there is plenty of parking available.

The initial mental health assessment before starting services is provided depending on which Mental Health Therapist has been selected prior to the session.

What is the first step for getting started in services?

Please call us at 805-689-3799 for a free phone consultation.