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 2022

The fund accepts applications from international candidates, and in 2022 we have reviewed project descriptions from Norway, Spain, and Germany. 

We are pleased to announce that the following three candidates are the Ann Kern-Godal’s memorial fund for Horse-Assisted Therapy grantees of 2022. 

Annika Barzen
Affiliated institution: University of Cologne, Germany
Project title: Reconstruction of the children’s perspective on equine-assisted interventions
Granted amount: NOK 95 631

Zoe Ringleb
Affiliated institution: University of Konstanz, Germany
Project title: Pilot study: Systematic Investigation into Stress Reducing Effects of Horse-Assisted Therapy in Acute and Chronic Stress Measured by Heart Rate Variability and Cortisol 
Granted amount: NOK 349 623

Elena López Domènech
Affiliated institution: ambCAVALLS, Spain
Project title: The impact of equine-assisted intervention on the quality of life of female breast cancer survivors who have completed treatment in the last two months
Granted amount: NOK 281 500


The next call for applications will be announced on the 15th of January 2023. The application deadline is 15 February 2023. Click here to be transferred to the fund’s website. 


Ann’s thoughs on horse-assisted therapy:

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