Skip Nav
Holiday Fitness
14 Must-Have Gifts For the Meal Prep Obsessed (You Know Who You Are!)
Gifts For Women
11 Genius Fitness Gifts on Amazon — All Under $40
30-Minute At-Home Cardio-Boxing Workout
Fitness Video
This Supercharged Cardio-Boxing Workout Will Leave You Dripping in Sweat
Fitness Terms Quiz
Workouts
If You Work Out More Than You Watch Netflix, Then You Will Ace This Quiz
Weight Loss
Keto and Intermittent Fasting Dominated 2018 — Here's Why They Are So Damn Popular

Selena Gomez on Equine Therapy

The Unique Type of Therapy Selena Gomez Opted For While in Rehab

Selena Gomez is Billboard's 2017 woman of the year. The 25-year-old singer was honored with the annual award at the Women in Music ceremony on Nov. 30, after a pivotal year and return to the spotlight. Prior to the ceremony, Selena sat down for an emotional interview with Billboard, where she opened up about how she got to where she is today and the therapy that helped her through. After being diagnosed with lupus in 2013, she struggled with depression and anxiety, checking herself into rehab in 2014 and 2016.

In the interview, Selena discussed doing equestrian therapy (commonly referred to as equine therapy) while at rehab in Tennessee and how it really taught her to be present physically and mentally. This horse-assisted therapy typically pairs a horse with an individual as a way to help confront emotional and mental health issues. According to a website about the therapy, "horses have the ability to respond immediately and give feedback to the rider's action or behavior. Horses are also able to mirror the rider's emotion." This kind of relationship can help develop self-worth, trust, communication, emotional awareness, impulse control, and problem-solving skills.

Selena recalled what it was like taking part in equine therapy for the first time. "I felt very angry, had a lot of stress in my body and the horse took off, completely left," she said, explaining that she chose the "emotionally unavailable" horse.

ADVERTISEMENT

"And I just kept getting more angry and frustrated. The horses can really sense your energy. After trying multiple times, the therapist looked at me and said, 'You know what? I need you to take the nice, sweet, kind, available horse. I want you to accept what you have in front of you.'"

She added, "I took a lot of deep breaths, walked around the stable, and by the time I came back, I felt completely settled in a 'that's enough' sort of way. . . It comes back to the idea of being present. And that was four years ago. A lot has changed. I feel a lot more centered, more accepting."

This isn't the first time she's opened up about the practice, as she called equine therapy "so beautiful" in an interview with InStyle earlier this year. "It was hard, obviously," Selena said. "But I knew what my heart was saying, and I thought, 'OK, I think this has helped me become stronger for other people.'"

In a 2008 New York Times article, the owners of a therapeutic horse-riding center discussed why this type of therapy works so well. "A horse couldn't care less if someone has been in jail or has a learning disability," Ms. Krupa, the owner of Rein Dancer Therapeutic Riding Center, said. "They only judge you by how you are at the moment. You're even allowed to be afraid around a horse as long as you admit that you're afraid. I've seen a horse walk right up to a terrified kid and put their heads in their chests."

"It's not about behavior modification," a social worker told the Times. "It's more about self-confidence and communication skills. There is a confidence that comes from succeeding in a new experience and doing something they wouldn't ordinarily do."

Image Source: Getty / Jon Kopaloff
From Our Partners
Is Indoor Cycling Bad For Your Body?
Cauliflower and Lettuce Recalled For E. Coli
Funny Holiday Weight Loss Memes
Kate Hudson WW Ambassador
Kate Beckinsale's Sled Pushes Workout
Can Traveling Make You Constipated?
Healthy Resolutions
Maas River Cauliflower Tots at Costco
Best Temperature For Sleep
Simone Biles' Quotes on Anxiety on Good Morning America 2018
Sarah Hyland Opens Up About Second Kidney Transplant 2018
Best Gifts For People With Anxiety
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds