The Temple Grandin Equine Center is the most premiere and productive researcher of equine assisted services, internationally.

One Equine Trust of Northern Ireland

horse in paddock

Equine Behavior and Welfare Research​

Evaluating Behavioral Signs of Tension in the Equine Assisted Services Horses

​It is important to identify behavioral signs of tension exhibited by horses during equine-assisted services. When ignored, unresolved tension can compromise the welfare of the horse and lead to undesirable behaviors during sessions. ​

This study aims to evaluate for signs of tension in equine-assisted service horses, then provide a comprehensive management and training plan supported by best practices for reducing equine stress.

Emerging EAS Research Initiatives

With a diverse collective of practitioners and researchers in Colorado and nationally.

  • Psychotherapy Incorporating Horses for At-risk Youth ​
  • Collaboration with a Team Studying Therapeutic Riding for Youth with Autism​
  • ​Optimal Terminology for Services that Incorporate Horses to Benefit People ​
boy on horse arms out


Systematic Mapping Reviews of the Literature on Equine-Assisted Services

  • Wood, W., & Fields, B. (2019). Hippotherapy: A systematic mapping review of peer-reviewed research, 1980 to 2015. Disability and Rehabilitation, DOI:10.1080/09638288.2019.1653997​
  • Kinney, A. R., Eakman, A. M., Lassell, R. & Wood, W. (2019). Equine-assisted interventions for veterans with service-related health conditions: a systematic mapping review. Military Medical Research 6(1), 28, DOI: 10.1186/s40779-019-0217-6.​
  • Peters, B. C., Hepburn, S. & Wood, W. (2019). Theoretical development of equine-assisted activities and therapies for children with autism: A systematic mapping review. Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin 8(2).​
  • Wood, W., Fields, B., Rose, M. & McLure, M. (2017). Animal-assisted therapies and dementia: A systematic mapping review using the Lived Environment Life Quality (LELQ) Model. American Journal of Occupational Therapy.​
  • McDaniel-Peters, B. C., Wood, W. (2017). Autism and equine-assisted interventions: A systematic mapping review. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities. DOI: 10.1007s/10803-017-3219-9​

Adaptive Riding for Older Adults with Alzheimer’s and other Dementias

  • Fields, B., Peters, B.C., Meyers, S., & Merritt, T. (Accepted). Advancing the science and practice of equine-assisted services through community-academic partnerships. Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin.​
  • Lassell, R., Wood, W., Schmid, A. A., Cross, J. (2021). A comparison of quality of life indicators during two complementary interventions: Adaptive gardening and adaptive riding for people with dementia. Complementary Therapies in Medicine.​
  • Lassell, R., Fields, B., Busselman, S., Hempel, T., & Wood, W. (2020). A logic model of a dementia-specific equine-assisted activities program. Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin, 9(2).​
  • Fields, B., Lassell, R., & Wood, W. (2019). Impact of a dementia-specific equine-assisted activities program: Perspectives of providers. Quality in Ageing and Older Adults. DOI: 10.1108/QAOA-10-2018-0047​
  • Fields, B., Bruemmer, J., Gloeckner, G. & Wood, W. (2018). Influence of an equine-assisted program on dementia-specific quality of life. American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, 33(5), 309-317. ​
  • Wood, W. (2019). The 2018 Ruth Zemke Lectureship in Occupational Science—The environment, time and occupation. Journal of Occupational Science, 26 (4), 456-469. ​

Occupational Therapy in an Equine Environment for Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Peters, B.C., Bentele, C., & Wood, W.W. (Accepted). A transactional analysis of occupational therapy in an equine environment for youth with autism spectrum disorder. Human Animal Interaction Bulletin.​
  • Peters, B. C., Wood, W., Hepburn, S. & Bundy, A. (2020). Occupational therapy in an equine environment for children with autism: Multiple baseline single-case experimental design. OTJR: Occupation, Participation, and Health. ​
  • Kalmbach, D., Wood, W. & B. C. Peters. (2020). Parental perspectives of occupational therapy in an equine environment for children with autism spectrum disorder. Occupational Therapy and Health Care. ​
  • Peters, B. C., Wood, W., Hepburn, S. & Merritt, T. (2020). Brief report: The feasibility and acceptability of occupational therapy in an equine environment for youth with autism spectrum disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. ​
  • Peters, B.C., Wood, W., Hepburn, S. & Moody, E. (Under Review). Preliminary efficacy of occupational therapy in an equine environment for youth with autism spectrum disorder. ​

Emerging Areas of Research and Scholarly Contributions

  • Peters, B.C., Fields, B., & Erdman, E. (2020). Hippotherapy practice and safety patterns in the United States: A descriptive survey study. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 26(8) 743-749. ​
  • Wood, W., Alm, K., Benjamin, J., Thomas, L., Anderson, D., Pohl, L. & Kane, M. (2020). Optimal terminology for services in the United States that incorporate horses to benefit people: A consensus document. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. ​