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Community and family violence are endemic in Guatemala. We evaluated the effectiveness of a
horse-handling program to reduce violent attitudes and aggressive behavior. Eighteen community
members who worked with horses in their daily lives (16 men, 2 women, ages 15 to 58) participated
in four weekly sessions of embodied experiences with horses. The program taught Monty Roberts’
Join-Up®, a method of non-violent handling, as well as desensitization of horses to feared objects.
Compared to the pretest, on a posttest participants were less likely to endorse violent attitudes with
respect to wife-beating, corporal punishment of children, and physical punishment of horses. Their
horses also were less reactive to the owner’s approach. Female relatives reported that following the
program participants provided better care for horses and were calmer and less aggressive with other
people. These findings imply that an equine-facilitated program shows promise for transforming
communities in which violence is prevalent.