Equine-assisted activity and healing programs are tailored to address specific issues faced by wounded and traumatized military personnel and veterans, while also providing a supportive and therapeutic environment for their families and loved ones.
In 2017, Peggy Sue Shiesley developed a program based on groundwork and developing bonds between horses and disabled veterans, suffering from PTSD and substance abuse. She worked with 90 veterans from four local veteran service groups. The veterans made 155 visits with the horses, spending three hours at each visit. By end of the year, the program dedicated 465 hours working with these veterans.
Healing with Horses is a time just for them. A time to rebuild confidence and trust. A time to relearn to focus on the here and now. And a time to relax and let healing happen and just ‘be’.
Many veterans return from active duty with physical and/or emotional wounds. They also experience challenges in making the transition from active duty..
Veterans helping veterans is a key component in each participant’s success. Together, they will work on relaxation, memory skills, following directions and staying focused. Together, they will help build morale and well being. Together, they will create a social network, allowing friendships to form naturally.
Veterans interested in becoming more involved should attend a volunteer training session. Upon completion, they will be able to work with all LTRC clients–many who are children with special needs as well as injured veterans. The injured veteran who is riding receives an emotional benefit by having another veteran at his or her side. There are sessions available for men and women who have served in the military.