Mind Full or Mindful? A Cohort Study of Equine-Facilitated Therapy for Women Veterans

Aviva Vincent, Isabel Ballard, Kathleen J. Farkas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aimed to explore the assets and challenges of partnering with equines for female Veterans seeking to increase aspects of mindfulness that can be applied daily. Three measures (Toronto Mindfulness Scale, Mindfulness Survey, and Program Evaluation) were administered to participants to assess self-identified mindfulness pre- and post-equine intervention. The Mindfulness Survey responses pre-intervention ranged from 2.3 to 6.5 with a response range of 0 to 10 (M = 4.59, SD = 1.29). The post-intervention Survey responses ranged from 6.7 to 9.2 (M = 8.2, SD = 0.69). A paired sample t-test found a significant difference in the scores from pre-intervention to post-intervention conditions (t= −9.43, df = 13, p< .001). The evaluation responses included positive feedback specific to the activities of grooming and Breathe With. A participant noted, “The horses have taught me a lot about myself”; a common theme across respondents. The Veterans demonstrated a significant increase in self-identified Mindfulness throughout the duration of the equine intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-382
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Creativity in Mental Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Equine Facilitated Therapy
  • Human-Animal Interaction
  • Mindfulness
  • Veteran
  • Veterinary Social Work
  • creativity in counseling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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