We are delighted to announce the recipients of the 2023 grants from the Ann Kern-Godal’s Memorial Fund for Horse-Assisted Therapy. The Fund aims to promote evidence-based research in the emerging field of horse-assisted therapy (HAT). These grants provide vital support to researchers dedicated to advancing the understanding and application of HAT for various patient groups.


The grantees of 2023

• Emily Kieson, the Executive Director of Equine International Corp, has been awarded a grant of NOK 178 500 for her project titled «Development of a horse-human ethogram and checklist to support treatment progression and equine welfare in Equine Assisted Interventions.» This study aims to develop an evidence-based instrument to assess and track horse-human interactions and communication during EAI programs.

• Zoe Ringleb, a PhD student at the University of Konstanz, has been granted NOK 170 480 for for her project titled “Systematic Investigation into Stress Reducing Effects of Horse-Assisted Therapy in Acute and Chronic Stress Measured by Heart Rate Variability and Cortisol.” Collaborating with the department of clinical neuropsychology and the non-profit organization GREAT, Zoe’s project will focus on measuring heart rate variability (HRV) and cortisol levels to understand the impact of HAT on acute and chronic stress.


These two projects exemplify the spirit of the Ann Kern-Godal’s Memorial Fund, promoting innovative research in the field of HAT that will make a tangible difference in the lives of patients and the well-being of the therapy horses. The field of horse-assisted therapy continues to evolve, and the contributions of these grantees will help expand our knowledge and understanding of this unique therapeutic approach. The Ann Kern-Godal’s Memorial Fund is proud to support their endeavors, and we eagerly anticipate the outcomes of their research.

We extend our warmest congratulations to Emily Kieson and Zoe Ringleb for their well-deserved grants. Thank you to all the researchers who submitted their innovative proposals.

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