Application Questions

January 19, 2009

A potential applicant recently asked me what qualifies as a research question that will have broad significance to equine assisted activities and therapies, as our application checklist states.

First, please keep in mind that this is one of fifteen different items on the checklist that our scientific reviewers and board look at.  They are looking, first and foremost, for rigorous scientific research that is likely to be published in a peer reviewed journal. So, that being said, the research questions must be significant to both a specific scientific community AND to our EAA/T field.

The most pressing two areas of significance for the EAA/T field we have identified are: 1) Helping guide instructors and therapists in common areas of practice and decision-making (e.g. how long should a session be, how many weeks should a student ride, are there certain activities that that have greater impact on achieving goals?) or 2) Validating to insurance companies, medical industry, supporters and others  that EAA/T is effective.

Please understand  that we do not weigh therapeutic riding, hippotherapy, equine-facilitated mental health, education-based programs or any other areas as more important than another. The board has not chosen to do a call for proposals related to any  specific area or question at this time.

We do hope, in the future, to collaborate with other interest groups – such as autism, veterans, multiple sclerosis, eating disorders who will jointly sponsor specific calls for proposals related to their missions and co-sponsor the awarded funds.  Until then our consideration for large-impact research remains very broad.

KC Henry

Executive Director

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