Equine-Facilitated/Animal-Assisted Psychotherapy Practice

Flying High Farm, Inc., a member of PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International), incorporates ponies and related activities as a form of therapeutic intervention. 

​We do not provide traditional riding lessons, therapeutic riding lessons or hippotherapy.

What is animal-assisted psychotherapy?

Animal-assisted psychotherapy incorporates animals into the mental health and psychotherapeutic treatment of people; equine-facilitated psychotherapy (EFP) refers specifically to horses. Christine has found that having an animal present in the therapy process provides the child, adolescent or adult with a sense of comfort not equaled in traditional therapy.

As described by and adapted from Boris Levinson in Pet-Oriented Child Psychotherapy:

When the child plays with the animal he establishes his own world, the boundaries of which he himself prescribes. The therapist, therefore, participates in common adventure by entering into a corner of the child's world where the child feels secure. This is where the therapist and the child find an equal footing; this is where the doors of communication are likely to open early between child and therapist. It also appears that all children have an intense need to master someone or something that does not talk back, that accepts one regardless of what one is. They want to be accepted, admired and permitted to regress as far as possible without being berated by someone or something loved and without the consequent guilt.

What activities take place in Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy?

EFP sessions are incorporated into one's clinical treatment sessions. Activities can include grooming, feeding, riding, etc. EFP is just one of the clinical interventions utilized at Flying High Farm. Since we do not have an indoor arena riding is subject to agreeable weather conditions. In the colder months, equine activities will focus on safety, grooming and tacking or an alternative form of treatment, such as animal-assisted psychotherapy, play therapy etc., will be utilized.

What types of animals will my child or I work with?
Flying High Farm currently has horses/ponies, dogs, cats and bunnies available to the children. The choice of animal will depend on the individual's presenting issues and preferences and can change throughout the child’s therapy. Are other forms of treatment available? Yes, in addition to animal-assisted therapy, clinicians also utilize play therapy, bibliotherapy, talk-therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, etc. In addition, one or more treatment methods may be utilized at one time.

What equipment is needed?
Flying High Farm supplies all of the horse's equipment and helmets are for all riders. Horseback riding helmets are mandatory, bicycle helmets and the like are not acceptable.

How much does it cost?
Payment for sessions can be made through accepted forms of insurance, out-of-network payment or self-pay. Click here for more payment and insurance information.

What is the process to beginning treatment?
Step One: Click here to complete the online form, email crandle@flyinghighfarm.com or call 978-582-7103.
Step Two: Clinician will meet with the individual (as well as parent/guardian if individual is a minor) for an intake session. At this appointment, you will be asked to sign release forms so that the clinician can:

  • Obtain educational records and relevant evaluations
  • Any other information from treatment providers that would be helpful
  • Provide you with the required HIPAA forms.

At this appointment, the clinician will arrange weekly or every other week appointments. More frequent sessions are typically not required. Children usually start with weekly session for a few weeks to build rapport, then move to every other week. 
Flying High Farm, Inc.
Christine Randle, LICSW

Mailing address:
611 Leominster Road
Lunenburg, MA 01462
Phone 978-582-7103
Fax 775-582-7103


© 2003 Flying High Farm