Correlation of Human and Horse Heart Rates During Equine-Assisted Therapy Sessions with At-Risk Youths: A Pilot Study


  • Macy Drinkhouse Otterbein University University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Sheri SW Birmingham Otterbein University
  • Robyn Fillman Otterbein University
  • Holly Jedlicka Otterbein University
Keywords: Heart Rate, Animal-Assisted Therapy, Equine-Assisted Therapy, Horse, At-Risk Youth

Abstract


Minimal research has been done to examine the cause of the positive results of animal-assisted therapy.  This study examines the correlation between horse and human heart rate, an involuntary stress response, which may allow the mechanisms of potential therapeutic benefits to be further understood. Horse and human heart rates were recorded during equine-assisted therapy sessions, compared, and the significance of human/horse heart rate correlation was documented. Results indicate that each incidence of correlating changes in the heart rates appeared to be the result of external stimuli. Findings are discussed and recommendations for future trials with controlled environments are made.

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Author Biographies

Macy Drinkhouse, Otterbein University University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

Student

Sheri SW Birmingham, Otterbein University

Assistant Professor

Department of Equine Science

Robyn Fillman, Otterbein University

Adjunct Faculty Researcher

Department of Equine Science

Holly Jedlicka, Otterbein University

Equine-Assisted Therapy Instructor

Department of Equine Science

Published
09-17-2012

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How to Cite
Drinkhouse, M., Birmingham, S. S., Fillman, R., & Jedlicka, H. (2012). Correlation of Human and Horse Heart Rates During Equine-Assisted Therapy Sessions with At-Risk Youths: A Pilot Study. Journal of Student Research, 1(3), 22-25. Retrieved from https://www.jofsr.org/index.php/path/article/view/107
Section
Research Articles