Journal of Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research


Wyntre Robinson


Equine-assisted mental health (EAMH) therapies utilize horses in therapy for a variety of emotional and psychological issues. One of the limitations of EAMH is the lack of interest among participants, but no literature is available to explore this. The purpose of this study was to measure awareness of and openness to EAMH interventions in college students in order to identify characteristics that correlate with openness to EAMH. Sixty-nine participants completed the Openness to Equine-Assisted Mental Health Inventory which measures openness to EAMH and openness to other alternative therapies, loss of faith in traditional therapies, the Big Five personality trait of openness to experience, conservative and liberal attitudes, risk-taking tendencies, interest in outdoor activities, and interest in horses. Gender differences in openness to EAMH were also analyzed. The only statistically significant relationship to openness to EAMH was a positive correlation with openness to alternative therapies. Openness to EAMH increases as openness to other alternative therapies increases.