First evidence-based study to measure positive levels of stress hormones in children in touch with horses.
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We all know it’s true, but now there’s proof: horses have a positive effect on children.

A study published this month in the American Psychological Association’s Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin documents work done at Washington State University (WSU). The WSU study, “Randomized Trial Examines Effects of Equine Facilitated Learning on Adolescents’ Basal Cortisol Levels” is the first evidence-based research within the field of human-equine interaction to measure a change in participants’ levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

The study is much more than a reinforcement of the “ feel-good” benefits of being around animals. In particular, the researchers designed the study to see if there was a way their research could be utilized in the prevention of mental health problems later in life.