Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that Equine Therapy may be new to some of our visitors and prospective clients. We hope that this page will help address any questions.


If you have further questions please visit the Contact Us page and call one of the numbers listed or fill out the "Contact Us" form.


Please do not send sensitive personal information (medical histories, medical questions, etc.) through our contact page.



Where are sessions held?

8366 Old Nokesville Road

Catlett, VA 20119

Will I be riding a horse?

Not typically. Most sessions are ground based and do not focus on learning traditional horsemanship skills. Sometimes, the therapy team may determine that as part of the patients treatment they might benefit from riding the horse though this decision is made solely by the treatment team and only if doing so will support the patient in achieving their treatment goals. The horses are able to freely interact in an unrestrained manner with both the client and with each other.


Who is going to be involved in my session(s)?

The session will involve the client (and/or the client’s family member(s)) and the Equine Professional, the Mental Health Specialist and the horses (the Therapy Team).


What is the role of the Equine Professional, the Mental Health Specialist, and the horses?


The Equine Professional is an experienced individual who has worked extensively with horses. They are involved in your therapy to ensure that the session is safe and that the setting is comfortable for the Therapy Team and the client(s). The Equine Professional also helps bring out specific horse behaviors that relate to the client's session and specific needs.

The Mental Health Specialist works closely with the clients and the rest of the Therapy Team to develop treatment goals, guide the process and ensure emotional safety. The therapist works with the client(s) to ensure that the session meets the client's therapy goals.


The horses are the backbone of the session. They are the medium through which the client(s) is/are able to work through and express their emotions, thoughts, and experiences. Together with the other members of the Therapy Team they help the clients to accomplish their goals.


Can family members receive care/Can clients bring family members to the session(s)?

Client treatment(s) may include family members when appropriate. 


What will a session entail?

The first session consists of an intake with the therapist and equine specialist to assess the client’s history and current identified needs/goals. Following the intake and for the subsequent sessions the client(s) works with the Therapy Team and horses in goal directed sessions designed to address the client’s goals. Sessions take place both inside and outside and typically involve three horses selected by the Equine Specialist. At the start of the session the client is given a "task" to complete with the horses. While the client engages in this activity the therapist and equine specialist make observations about the horse’s interactions and responses to the client. Upon completion of the task the team then debriefs the session with the client and they are given the opportunity to share their experience and relation to the activity.

How many sessions are involved in treatment?

This type of therapy is short-term and solution focused. The average length of treatment is 6-10 sessions though every client and treatment plan is unique. Many clients elect to augment their traditional talk therapy with this modality as well.

What should clients wear?

Comfortable, weather appropriate clothing and closed toe, sturdy shoes. Given the nature of this work clothing is likely to get dirty!

How long does a session last?

The first session is 1.5 hours to include the intake process. Subsequent sessions are 50 minutes.


What is the cost of a session?

It costs $300 per session to provide EAP services involving multiple horses, and the expertise of a mental health professional and an equine specialist. Through the generosity of our donors, this fee is largely underwritten by donations and HEAL charges participants $60 per session. HEAL does not file health insurance claims. We understand that reimbursement ranges in the $40-$65 range from most insurers. Clients are provided with an invoice at each session that they can use to submit for reimbursement of their co-payment.


Cancellation Policy:

In the event you are unable to attend a session HEAL requires 24 hours advance notice in order to avoid a fee. If less than 24 hours are given you may be subject to the full cost of a session in order to preserve the financial resources afforded to us by our donors.

How do you ensure privacy?

Client privacy and comfort is of the utmost importance and sessions are held in private at our indoor and outdoor arenas. We maintain a strict confidentiality policy and follow all HIPAA and 42 CFR laws and regulations. However, HEAL operates on a working farm and you may come into contact with other individuals during your time at Horsepower Farm. Unless explicitly authorized in writing to do so HEAL will never disclose your confidential information. 


How will I stay safe?

The main job of the Equine Professional is to ensure the safety of the clients and the horses. In addition, we highly encourage the clients to make their own safety decisions. If the clients feel unsafe at any time they are advised to let the equine professional know immediately and actions will be taken to ensure client comfort before proceeding with treatment.

Where should I send business correspondence?

HEAL Foundation

7111 Wolf Den Rd

Fairfax Station, VA 22039