Horse therapy is used for a wide range of physical and mental health problems

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Horses are becoming increasingly popular in therapy programmes designed for people with physical, mental or emotional challenges, but now it seems such interactions may be stressful for horses if they don’t have a choice about whether to be touched.

When the horses can choose to walk away, however, they appear significantly less anxious – and they often stay away from people’s hands altogether, says Katrina Merkies at the University of Guelph in Canada. “The choice…

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