Skip to Main Content
Equine Therapy

Equine Therapy & Counseling in Brighton and Plymouth, MI

What Is Equine Therapy?

The specially trained psychologists at McCaskill Family Services are excited to team up with Honeycomb Equestrian in Howell, Michigan to offer Equine Therapy (also referred to as Horse Therapy, Equine-Assisted Therapy, and Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy).

This type of therapy involves interactions between patients and horses in guided activities such as grooming, feeding, leading, mounting, and riding to improve behavior, thought processes and emotional control. Equine Assisted Therapy is a treatment that promotes physical, emotional and occupational growth.

Equine-Assisted Therapy Webinar

What are the Benefits of Equine Therapy?

Studies have shown that equine therapy has been successful in helping children, teens and adults make significant improvements in a short amount of time in the following areas:

  • Confidence
  • Self- Esteem
  • Assertiveness
  • Anger Management
  • Social Skills and Communication
  • Emotional Awareness
  • Empathy
  • Stress Management
  • Flexibility
  • Impulse Control
  • Anxiety Management
  • Problem-Solving Skills
  • Independence
  • Improved Mood
  • Interpersonal Relationships

Horses are astute at reading human emotions and people often turn to animals for comfort. Horses are by nature accepting and non-judgmental. They can mirror human emotions and behavior and will respond to negativity, therefore encouraging the client to be calm, open, gentle and aware.

While working with horses under the guidance and supervision of an equine therapist, equine therapy patients have a unique and effective opportunity to get direct feedback on their pattern of problematic behaviors, self-defeating negative thoughts and actions. These insights and skills then translate to everyday life and people feel happier, more connected and successful.

As Featured on Channel 7 Action News

Watch interviews by Dr. Pam on Equine Therapy
Who Would Benefit from Equine Therapy from McCaskill Family Services?

Children of all ages, Teenagers and Adults with:

  • ADHD
  • Autism
  • Behavior Problems
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Grief/Loss
  • Trauma
  • Attachment Disorders
  • Anger Problems
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Anxiety
  • Social Problems
  • Inflexibility
  • Addiction
  • Lack of Empathy
  • Eating Disorders

Join one of our 8-week-equine groups!

Please call the office at (734) 416-9098 for more information.

Food & Body Teen Group: Closed

Healing your relationship with food & body

A focus on healing the relationship with food and body is a cornerstone of our non-diet approach to overall health. Teens often struggle with conflicting messages surrounding health and well-being, often leading to stress and pressure related to body image, eating and exercise. Through a combination of Cognitive Behavioral and Dialectical Behavioral techniques, along with the powerful effect of the horse-human connection, this focused equine assisted therapy group will teach strategies to help educate, empower, increase self-esteem and self-efficacy, build relationships, increase communication, manage anxiety and regulate emotions.

This group is open to all genders ages 13-17. Exceptions may be made for 12 years of age, on a case by case basis. No horse experience is necessary. Concurrent individual therapy is recommended. Close-toed shoes required

Call our office for more information and upcoming dates. 

Burnout/Stress Management for Adults: Closed

Burnout Recovery & Stress Management for Adults 

Have you found yourself feeling exhausted, on-edge, or easily overwhelmed?  Maybe you've been feeling disconnected lately or out of touch with the things you previously enjoyed?  Burnout is an all too common condition, recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO), and experienced regularly by adults juggling the demands of the workplace, family life, and unpredictable stressors.  This equine-assisted group will offer evidence-based stress management and burnout reduction techniques.  These strategies, paired with the healing equine bond and the rewards of horsemanship, will leave you feeling reawakened and revitalized.  
This group is open to all adults ages 18 and up.  Concurrent individual therapy is recommended, but not required.  No horse experience is necessary.  Close-toed shoes required.  

Call our office for more information and upcoming dates. 

Closed-toed shoes required.
Teen Girl Self-Esteem: Closed!

Teen Girl Self-Esteem Group

Do you have a teenage girl struggling with issues of depression, anxiety, isolation, or low self-confidence? Equine therapy could be the answer. This group will utilize a combination of empirically validated Cognitive Behavioral and Dialectical Behavioral techniques, along with the horse, to help individuals build mastery over their lives while challenging negative beliefs. The goal is to help teenagers regulate their emotions, and boost confidence and self-esteem while improving their overall mood symptoms. It is open to all genders ages 12-17. No horse experience is necessary.

 Call our office for more information and upcoming dates. 

Closed-toed shoes required.

Managing Difficult Emotions, Kids Group: Closed

Managing Difficult Emotions (Kids Group)

This group for pre-teens (ages 9-11, all genders) will be focus on helping them identify and manage big emotions. This group will be helpful if you have pre-teens who are struggling with regulating emotions, have frequent emotional outbursts, or just seem to be overly anxious, angry, or depressed.  Participants will use the horses to help observe and identify emotions, generating discussion about these overwhelming feelings and how to handle them utilizing empirically supported therapeutic strategies from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) modalities. The goal of this workshop is to help your child gain an understanding and awareness of their own emotions, as well as developing a toolbox for properly managing these emotions when they intensify.

Call our office for more information and upcoming dates. 

Closed-toed shoes required.

Social Skills for Kids: Closed!

Social Skills Group for Kids

Has your child been struggling to get along with peers?  Are they struggling with self-regulation or behavioral difficulties?  The COVID-19 pandemic adversely impacted many kids during their crucial, formative years for social-emotional development.  This 8-week group will focus on building important social skills, such as recognizing social cues, awareness of the impact of behavior on others, communication skills, problem-solving, and more, in addition to utilizing horses to help children understand how to self-regulate, recognize emotions, and interact effectively with others.  All activities will be conducted from the ground, so no riding or horse experience is necessary.  All kids ages 8-11 are encouraged to join.

No horse experience is required. Close-toed shoes required.

Call our office for more information and upcoming dates. 

Emotion Regulation Workshop: Closed

Emotion Regulation Workshop: CLOSED

The pre-teenage years can be an incredibly stressful time for both kids and their parents, filled with ever changing emotions and situations. Adolescents who struggle with the challenges of Oppositional Defiant Disorder, ADHD, and other behavioral issues often find it difficult to navigate their environment successfully while maintaining important relationships. This workshop uses techniques from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, an empirically validated treatment, and equine therapy to help your child learn prosocial behaviors, while appropriately handling their negative emotions. The horse is an incredibly powerful and sensitive animal that only responds to respectful, confident interaction. Your child will work with their equine partner to establish a healthy, cooperative relationship, building skills that can be utilized outside the barn as well. Topics such as respect, communication, teamwork, leadership, empathy, and compassion will be at the forefront of each group. 

No horse experience is required. Close-toed shoes required.

Each workshop session runs for 90 minutes and is billed as a therapy session with a Licensed Ph.D. Psychologist. Insurance companies will likely reimburse this the same way they do group sessions in an office setting. If your insurance pays for out-of-network providers, they will likely reimburse in a similar fashion for these workshops. We will provide you with receipts that you can submit to your insurance company.

We now have Team Building Programs

Please call the office at (734) 416-9098 for more information.

Equine School-Aged Team Building Program
Equine Therapy | McCaskill Family Services | Metro Detroit Area - equine_team_building_school_agedEquine Therapy | McCaskill Family Services | Metro Detroit Area - faq_equine_team_building_school-aged
Corporate, Businesses, and Families Team Building Program

Corporate and Business Team Building Program

Have you thought about doing a team building workshop with your employees to help build a stronger bond with your team, enhance communication, and boost morale? Are you looking for something different to do with your friends or family to build trust and improve relationships? Maybe you are struggling in your group of friends, coworkers, or leadership group to get along, and you need help with leadership skills and social cues.

At Honeycomb Equestrian in Howell, Michigan, in a private unique setting, you will have the opportunity to engage in leadership and social skill-building with your group through participating in active team building, equine-assisted learning activities. Our specially trained clinical psychologists will custom design a session that meets the needs of your team in a fun, engaging and interactive way.

Why use Horses for Personal Development and Learning?

  • Emotional and Social Skills: Interacting with horses can help individuals develop emotional intelligence, empathy, and social skills. Horses are highly perceptive animals and can mirror human emotions, providing valuable feedback on non-verbal communication and emotional states.
  • Leadership and Communication: Working with horses requires clear communication and assertiveness. They respond to confident and consistent leadership, which can help individuals develop effective communication skills, assertiveness, and leadership qualities.
  • Trust and Confidence Building: Establishing a bond of trust with a horse can boost self-confidence and self-esteem. Horses are sensitive to their environment and can sense genuine intentions, encouraging individuals to be authentic, patient, and consistent in their actions. They can’t be bullied into a partnership, and they are never too polite to tell you how they really feel!
  • Emotional Regulation and Stress Relief: Being around horses and engaging in activities like grooming can have a calming effect on individuals. Interacting with these gentle animals can help reduce stress, promote emotional regulation, and improve overall well-being.
  • Personal Growth and Empowerment: Working with horses challenges individuals to step out of their comfort zones, overcome fears, and develop problem-solving skills. It can be a transformative experience that promotes personal growth, empowerment, and resilience.
  • Mindfulness and Presence: Horses live in the present moment and can teach individuals to be mindful and fully present. Engaging in activities with horses requires focus, awareness, and the ability to adapt to the present situation.

Equine Team Building


Our Equine Team Building Leadership Program Promotes:

  • More effective verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Greater awareness of subtle cues in yourself and others
  • Improved confidence to influence and motivate others by working toward a shared goal.
  • Building a good trusting relationship with your team
  • Improved critical thinking

Key Benefits for Businesses:

  • Investing in your employees can also build a positive reputation for your company. The American Psychological Association (APA) found in a report that as many as 89% of employees who benefited from “well-being initiatives” were willing to “recommend their company as a good place to work.”
  • According to the APA “Work in America Survey” 92% of workers said it is important to them to work for an organization that values their emotional and psychological well-being. Happy, successful employees contribute to a positive workplace atmosphere, which in turn translates into quality work and happy customers.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What if I have no prior experience with horses?

There will be a short safety briefing at the beginning of your session during which the psychologist will help you understand how to interact with the horses safely. All team-building activities take place on the ground while interacting with the horses. Our program requires no riding. Our certified equine-trained clinical psychologists supervise all activities.

What if someone has a fear of working with horses?

We are very sensitive that someone may have a fear about being around horses. Some people have never been up close to a horse and others may have had a negative past experience that brings some apprehension to working around them. Our clinicians want each participant to enjoy their time at the barn and how to gain their power and choice, while still being mindful of their fears and concerns.This, in itself, stretches leadership capabilities. Safety precautions are thoroughly reviewed and our clinicians ensure participants are comfortable with the activities. Everyone always has a choice and learning is never forced. We honor both our humans and our horses to bring out the best in both and create a setting that is both fun and enjoyable.

Who are the target audiences?

Our team-building program provides benefits to people from all walks of life! The activities are designed for any group who wishes to strengthen relationships in a positive way or create stronger interpersonal skills. Please remember this is not an exhaustive list. Please contact us if your group is not listed!

  • Leadership teams
  • Corporate teams
  • Office staff
  • Youth groups
  • Sports teams
  • Business Teams
  • Families
  • School groups


  • Groups should be between 6 and 20 people.
  • Must be able-bodied (able to walk independently), capable of maintaining balance on uneven footing, and verbal.
  • Participants will be exposed to allergens including horses, cats, hay, and dust (gloves/masks are welcome, but not provided).
  • Must wear close-toed shoes and appropriate outerwear for the temperature (will be in indoor arena during winter, but will still be cold).

How long are the sessions/When?

Sessions are 2 hours long and are scheduled on Thursdays once a month 10am to 12pm

  • 15-minute safety presentation
  • 90 minutes of team-building, including processing activities
  • 15-minute wrap-up


  • 6-10 people: $1000
  • 11-15 people: $1500
  • 16-20 people: $2000


Honeycomb Equestrian
2800 E. Allen Rd., Howell, 48855
(The barn is located off Allen Road. Do NOT follow the GPS down Genesis road).

How to Schedule:

If you are interested in more information or scheduling a team building session for your group please contact McCaskill Family Services at 734-416-9098 or email at

Horses offer unique opportunities for human learning and development by promoting emotional and social skills, leadership qualities, trust-building, stress relief, personal growth, and mindfulness. Their intuitive nature and non-judgmental presence make them effective partners for personal and professional development.

Horses offer unique opportunities for human learning and development by promoting emotional and social skills, leadership qualities, trust-building, stress relief, personal growth, and mindfulness. Their intuitive nature and non-judgmental presence make them effective partners for personal and professional development.

Listen to our Radio Interview with Dr. Deanna Lites on WWJ Newsradio 950

If you are interested in learning more about the individual and/or group therapy options available through the Equine Therapy Division of McCaskill Family Services, please contact us at our Brighton office location, (810) 224-1676. No riding experience is necessary. As groups form, we will try to match your child with same-age peers.