Horse-Assisted Therapy

Ann Kern-Godal’s memorial fund for Horse-Assisted Therapy promotes evidence-based research into horse-assisted therapy (HAT) for different patient groups.

«Horse assisted therapy (HAT) is an innovative psychotherapy that actively involves horses in the therapeutic process. It is provided as a health-related treatment with claimed benefits for physical and psychological health, including substance abuse disorder (SUD).»

– excerpt from Ann Kern-Godal’s ph.d-thesis

Since horse-assisted therapy is an emerging field of research, the areas the fund supports are relatively open-ended and include at least three categories:

  • Stipend for a PhD candidate’s research into HAT, where their thesis focuses wholly or partially on HAT.
  • Stipend for a postdoctoral position dedicated wholly or partially to HAT. Exploration of new methodological procedures is considered particularly valuable.
  • Prize given to the best institution with regard to promoting HAT research.

Especially promising research projects may receive support for up to 3 years.


Grantees 2021

The fund accepts applications from international candidates, and in 2021 we have reviewed project descriptions from Norway, Finland, The UK, Italy and Spain. 

We are pleased to announce that the following three candidates are the Ann Kern-Godal’s memorial fund for Horse-Assisted Therapy grantees of 2021. 

Norunn Helena Lauvland Kogstad
Affiliated institution: Innlandet Hospital trust, Norway
Project title: Horses in psychotherapeutic work with children and young people Systematization of experiences with the use of horses in psychotherapeutic work done at the unit for mental health care for children and adolescents (PHBU) at Nordland Hospital Lofoten
Granted amount: NOK 350 000

Manuela Modica
Affiliated institution: University of Rome, Italy
Project title: Pilot study: Horse-assisted therapy in children with autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as a tool for counteracting the adverse effects of covid19 pandemic
Granted amount: NOK 244 664

Sanna Maaria Mattila-Rautiainen
Affiliated institution: University of Eastern Finland, Finland
Project title: 12- weeks Equine facilitated therapy intervention for chronic low back pain patient’s biopsychosocial functioning.
Granted amount: NOK 155 336


The next call for applications will be announced on the 15th of January 2022. The application deadline is 15 February 2022. Click here to be transferred to the fund’s website. 


Ann’s thoughs on horse-assisted therapy:

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