Riding into health: A case study on an equine-assisted childhood obesity intervention

Katy Schroeder, Jason Van Allen, Emily Dhurandhar, Brittany Lancaster, Zohal Heidari, Kandis Cazenave, Dianna Boone, Phyllis Erdman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In this article, we present an exploratory case study that describes the initial outcomes of the Equine-Assisted Positively Fit (EAPF) program. Children with obesity and their caregivers were recruited to participate in the eight-session program. Results indicated that treatment completers (n = 2) had a decrease in fat mass and fat mass percentage and an increase in fat-free mass and fat-free mass percentage. Moreover, results from accelerometer measurements of physical activity indicated that participants increased their moderate to vigorous physical activity, as well as reported increased self-efficacy for physical activity. Qualitative data from the post-intervention focus group suggested children perceived the treatment acceptable and enjoyable. Findings from this study provide support for future investigations on the feasibility and potential efficacy of pairing children and their caregivers with horses to accomplish health-related goals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4835
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • Children
  • Equine-assisted interventions
  • Obesity


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