Equine therapy and other equine programs for military veterans & families
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Equine therapy programs
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Equine therapy programs
A Helping Hoof for Veterans (Grantsville, UT)
A Helping Hoof was started to serve the need of veterans who are struggling with the symptoms of PTSD, whether they be debilitating or annoying. We also work with the families of veterans as they attempt to re-integrate in the family system. Currently in the program are veterans who have suffered combat stress, sexual assault, hazing trauma, and the trauma of being a helping provider to wounded military.
Atlanta Horses for Heroes (Atlanta, GA)
Atlanta Horses for Heroes offers therapeutic horseback riding and other equine assisted therapies for post 9/11 wounded warriors. All activities are conducted by NARHA and EAGALA certified instructors and mental health professionals. Our facility is an outdoor paradise that is ideal for those suffering from combat injuries...both physical and emotional. We offer our therapeutic program free of charge to our heroes.
Battle Flag Ranch (Mount Juliet, TN)
At Battle Flag Ranch, we live to serve the selfless. As a veteran myself who returned home from the dangers of war in Afghanistan, my family and I understand the difficulty of reentry into "normal" life with family and friends. Truth is, life just no longer feels normal. Our heart breaks and our souls bleeds over the pain of each and every serviceman and servicewoman who may have physically survived the horrors of war abroad, but whose families now face the threat of destruction at home. We are a short term bed and breakfast respite for battle-wearied veterans and their equally weary spouse, providing safety and sanctuary as they relearn the delicate art of love and communication in marriage.
The mission of Battle Flag Ranch is to provide respite for battle weary veterans and their equally weary spouses and families. The ranch offers literal shelter by giving veterans and their families the much deserved, yet sadly rare gifts of a beautifully serene getaway and a brief season for quiet refreshment and renewal.
Dedicated to eradicating the astronomical divorce rate among our Armed Services individuals, Battle Flag Ranch helps America's defenders face the new marching orders of an often unexpected struggle: reestablishing wholeness in their families. As a unique, positive, and encouraging community resource for all military service veterans and their spouses, Battle Flag Ranch helps families find the emotional ceasefire they need to once again band together and reengage life as a united front.
Because We Can - Because We Care (San Clarita, CA)
Because We Can - Because We Care is a recognized nonprofit organization designed to thank our military, law enforcement and firefighter personnel by providing equine therapy for free to those who have become disabled.
We provide horseback riding lessons for free to the children of a parent of the aforementioned groups who is disabled, deployed, or has fallen.
We will offer our services for free to all disabled children.
Our unique program rescues, adopts, rehabilitates and trains horses to use in our equine therapy program for people.
Our organization provides equine therapy and horseback riding lessons in a safe, fun, compassionate and relaxed environment.
Big Heart Ranch (Malibu, CA)
BIG Heart Ranch is a non-profit known for its unique, animal inspired growth and healing. A serene, ocean-view 12+ acre ranch set in the Santa Monica mountains and home to a family of amazing animals, therapists, horse practitioners and volunteers creates a very special growth and healing experience.
Our programs offer experiential learning and therapy for children, individuals, couples, families, groups, agencies and corporations. We offer a fresh, effective approach to mental health and everyday life issues. HIPAA compliant, we honor the confidentiality of all participants.
Military Veterans Healing Program - They served and protected us and our country and we are honored to give back to them! Wounded warriors and their families receive an unlimited number of no cost healing sessions.
Brave HEART Program (Hagerstown, MD)
An environment where veterans, military members, and their families come together to facilitate healing and strengthen relationships through equine interaction and outdoor activities in a peaceful farm setting.
Challenge Aspen Horses for Heroes
Equine therapy can be an amazing tool for injured military. Enjoy sunshine, friends, and fun while professionals at Wind Walker Ranch guide you on an amazing adventure on horseback.
Classic Equestian Assisted Family Services, Inc. (Dublin, GA)
Children, Adolescents, Adults, Couples and Families including Military Families: Grief, PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, Attention Deficit Disorder, Trauma Survivors, Sex Abuse Survivors, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Medical Family Therapy surrounding management of complex medical conditions.
Individualized clinical care, outpatient services, school based initiatives, business and industry professional workshops, Employee Assistance Programs, Medical Family Therapy, Summer Camps, Faith-based groups, and individualized intensive outpatient therapy, EMDR, CBT, and Equine Assisted Growth and Learning and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy.
EAGALA Advanced Certified
Equest Hooves for Heroes (Wylie, TX)
Hooves for Heroes is program is devoted to improving the lives of our military servicemen and women. Their mission is to empower, enrich, and educate through horses.
Equest offers current service members, honorably-discharged veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, and adult military family members the Hooves for Heroes program free of charge.
Equine Escape (Goodrich, MI)
Welcome Home - There are many challenges for our veterans as they transition from military life to civilian life. One such challenge is forming relationships. Veterans may feel as if they are being judged based on their military actions or suffer from PTSD due to event(s) they had to participate in. The military recognizes that EAL may be a good choice for our veterans. EAL is a popular choice as it addresses many psychosocial factors that office-based therapy cannot. Some of the key domain the military recognizes as benefiting from EAL are physical, emotional, family relationships, social, spiritual and career (U.S. Army 2014) EAL allows a safe place to feel and address emotions through the human-animal bond. The herd mentality, prey animal instincts and unconditional acceptance of horses is why they work so well with our veterans. We look forward to giving back to our service men and women as we start this program in June 2017.
Equine Spirit Programs (Queen Creek, AZ)
Equine Spirit Programs is a non-profit organization that connects rehabilitated horses with youth, adults, military veterans, corporate individuals or groups to promote self-discovery, personal growth and professional development.
Equi-Vets (Virginia Beach, VA)
The mission of Equi-Vets is to provide, promote and support equine assisted activities for active, reserve and retired military personnel who have been injured in the line of duty.
Fallen Heroes Family Camp (Springfield, TN)
Fallen Heroes Family Camp is a special place where the families of fallen heroes can come together, find joy and respite, solace and support, while enjoying common interests. Through the use of horses and outdoor activities, Fallen Heroes Family Camp strives to help military families shed their feelings of loss and put them on a road to healing. Here, they can take steps to gain focus on life again.
Finally Home Farm (Wilberforce, OH)
Finally Home Farm LLC is a non-profit foundation dedicated to healing our mentally wounded warriors through Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP). FHF is certified by the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) as a military services provider. Our staff is trained and certified as EAGALA Equine Specialist. FHF works in cooperation with The Freedom Center at the Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center for the intake and referral of military veteran clients into the equine psycho-therapy treatment program. Our mission is to bring our veterans HOME in mind and spirit, as well as physically.
Hanaeleh (Orange county, CA)
Hanaeleh offers a free, six-week Certified Equine Coaching program for U.S. military veterans.
Happi Farm (Southwest Ranches, FL)
Happi Farm provides horseback riding for American military veterans at no cost! If you are a veteran, please contact us and schedule a visit to enjoy a farm fun day.
Harmony Acres Equestrian Center (Fruita, CO)
Equine therapy can be a particularly powerful modality for veterans. It is offered in a safe, outdoor environment instead of the confines of an office; it incorporates the relationship with a non-judgemental animal; and it allows recovery from trauma without forcing veterans to re-experience traumatic events. Considering the high rates of suicide, hospitalization, and family break-ups that veterans are facing, we believe it is crucial to offer a form of therapy to veterans that actually works for them.
We are proud to work with multiple veterans in our programming and have many veterans serving as volunteers at our facility. Our goal is to be able to offer our services to veterans free of charge. If you are a veteran who might benefit from Equine Therapy, please contact us.
HEAL Foundation (Catlett, VA)
The HorsePower Equine Assisted Learning (HEAL) Foundation is located at HorsePower Farm in Catlett, Virginia. The 48 acre farm provides a private setting for Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) in the D.C. metropolitan area. The mission of HEAL is to empower individuals and groups with a safe, professional, and therapeutic equine experience. HEAL supports the limitless emotional growth and healing potential created by the bond between horse and human. HEAL was created to provide equine assisted psychotherapy services (EAP) directly to our veterans and their families.
Healing Horses and Armed Forces (Tehachapi, CA)
Rising Moon Ranch is the location of Healing Horses & Armed Forces. We conduct Equine Assisted Learning programs. We are located in Tehachapi, California, two hours from Los Angeles, forty-five minutes from Bakersfield, and two and a half hours from Paso Robles.
Healing Horses & Armed Forces was created for our men and women returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan, service members and their families. It is a program designated in making the transition from war, back home to civilian life possible.
Heartbeat Serving Wounded Warriors - Back in the Saddle Warriors (Washington)
Back in the Saddle Warriors is Heartbeat's clinical and evidence based Equine Assisted Therapy which consists of Hippotherapy and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Providers include: Occupational Therapists with Level 1 Hippotherapy training,Clinical Psychologist who is also EGALA certified and a NARHA certified trainer.
Contact the organization for locations.
Heart of the Horse Therapy Ranch (Clovis, CA)
Heart of the Horse Therapy Ranch is committed to promoting therapeutic riding as an efficacious treatment modality for those who suffer from physical, mental or emotional disorders by developing community awareness of equine assisted/ facilitated therapy.
The population HHTR serves ranges from those who are physically challenged to those with emotional or behavioral disorders. Though not everyone with disabilities can safely participate in therapeutic riding activities, HHTR serves a broad segment of the disable community & Veterans from the Fresno VA Hospital here in the central valley.
Some of the conditions for which therapeutic riding has been proved an effective treatment are cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, sensory impairment (i.e. loss of hearing or sight), Down Syndrome, Autism, learning disabilities, psychological impairments, emotional disorders and interpersonal challenges.
Heart of the Horse Therapy Ranch’s mission is to help exceptional central valley citizens achieve new heights and discover new abilities through supervised therapeutic equestrian activities.
Heroes and Horses (Manhattan, MT)
Heroes and Horses based in Montana uses the remote wilderness to challenge, invoke change and develop new ways to approach and solve problems. By “change through challenge,” veterans can make peace with their past and replace devastating memories with positive ones in a three-phase program completed in one year that is a recovery program for veterans suffering with mental and physical scars. H &H uses horses and the remote wilderness as a tool to challenge veterans. Participants are given training in horsemanship and horse pack training. There are no out of pocket cost for veterans. Veterans are drawn from a combination of sources, including the American Legion, VA and various military hospitals. On each trip there will be one “wild card spot” for veterans from all over the nation to write in and share their story. Upon review the staff will chose one veteran to enter the Heroes and Horses program based on their written story.
HomeFront Equestrians, Inc. (Ware, MA)
Founded as a way of giving back to military families, HomeFront Equestrians, Inc. offers hands on horsemanship; from grooming and groundwork to riding and showing, we offer an in-depth program for military families in a fun, positive and educational environment.
H.O.O.V.E.S. Healing of Our Veterans through Equine Assisted Services
(NW Ohio, SE Michigan)
H.O.O.V.E.S. provides 100% confidential service at no cost to veterans seeking assistance with addictions, anxiety, PTS, and reintegration. Our program is offered at 5 locations in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.
We provide training at no cost to veterans who are:
- Experiencing PTS, depression, anxiety, addiction and more
- Facing reintegration challenges
- Family members who have a military member currently deployed
- Families dealing with the loss of a veteran
- Military members seeking personal growth and development
- Children of military members
Horseplay Farms, LLC, the Home of Our Heroes (Bolivia, NC)
Horseplay Farms is an up and coming horse farm located on 60 beautiful acres of land in Bolivia, NC. We have created the perfect get away from the hustle and bustle of today's world. If you love horses, beautiful sunsets and a laid back environment this is the place for you!
We are also the Home of Our Heroes, a non-profit that provides therapeutic riding and large animal rescue to veterans, disadvantaged youth, and those with special needs.
Ruth and Phillip established Our Heroes, Inc., a 501C3 public charity, in 2013 with the goal of providing, through the human-horse bond, a haven for healing, recuperation, and regaining of a joy of living for our country's military personnel, their families, and our Brunswick County adults and children who face daily mental, emotional and physical challenges. Our Heroes is also there to improve the lives of our disadvantaged and/or at-risk youth.
Phillip, a Vietnam veteran, retired from the U.S. Army after 26 years of service. Ruth, a Brunswick County native and a retired Department of the Army civilian, was working at the Pentagon when it was attacked on 9/11—and lost 8 close friends in the attack. With strong military ties and deep family roots in Brunswick County, Ruth and Phillip established Our Heroes to give back to our Brunswick County Heroes.
Horse Rhythm Foundation (Glendale, AZ)
Horse Rhythm Foundation, Inc. (HRF) is a non-profit organization. HRF was founded by disabled war veterans providing Equine Assisted Services (EAS) as a broad-based collaborative community initiative that recognizes and honors the intrinsic value of our military soldiers, law enforcement agencies, firefighters and their families. The foundation provides EAS in an effort to bridge the gap between traditional healing methodologies and true whole-being wellness of the mind, body, and spirit for veterans suffering from war time afflictions, and law enforcement personnel with mental health disorders and physical disabilities. Horse Rhythm includes in its Equine Assisted Service models; Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) based Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) and Equine Assisted Learning (EAL); and Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH, Intl).
Horse Sense of the Carolinas (Marshall, NC)
Horse Sense of the Carolinas began working with veterans' organizations and groups in 2012, having specialized in 2003-2011 with issues of addiction, trauma, and depression/anxiety. Working with a general population of both adults and youth set us up to be well-informed when addressing the growing needs of our veterans.
Horse Sense offers:
- Equine assisted therapy sessions
Horses 4 Heroes (Las Vegas, NV)
Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Las Vegas, NV, Horses4Heroes is building a nationwide network of family-friendly, kid-friendly horseback riding facilities and equine-related service providers that support our mission to make horseback riding affordable for, and accessible to the families of the heroes in our communities including, but not limited to: military personnel (active duty and veterans), law enforcement officers, firefighters/EMTs, critical care and hospice nurses, special needs school teachers and families who are struggling with serious, chronic illnesses and/or disabilities.
Horses for Heroes - New Mexico, Inc. (Santa Fe, NM)
Horses For Heroes - New Mexico, Inc. is a non-profit corporation. Cowboy Up! is a unique horsemanship, wellness and skill-set restructuring program based in Santa Fe, NM free to ALL post 9/11 veterans and active military (both men and women) especially those who have sustained PTSD*, physical injuries, or have experienced combat trauma during their time serving our country. From day one veterans are hands on with our horses beginning with groundwork and progressing to riding, as well as participating in other aspects of ranch life, including working cattle and more importantly experiencing the camaraderie with cowboys who are veterans themselves.
Sharing our experience, our strengths, and hopes we give veterans a new and vital mission where they can recuperate, recreate, and reintegrate into their communities. We believe that Horsemanship is Leadership and by assisting veterans through the way of the horse and cowboy culture, we are able to support their journey, integrating mind, body and spirit.
Horses That Heal (Fort Bragg, NC)
We are committed to helping youth with behavioral problems and the issues that face wounded warriors and their families.
We use the EAGALA Model (EAP) paired with EAGALA certified professionals:
- A Team Approach – Licensed clinical therapist and equine specialist
- Focus on Groundwork – No mounting required
- Solution Oriented – The client will determine the best solution
Working with horses develops non-verbal skills, confidence, responsibility, problem solving, assertiveness, and teamwork.
Idaho Horse Therapy - Re-Boot Camp (Fairfield, ID)
Re-Boot Camp® is a program produced by Idaho Horse Therapy. The program is an exciting new treatment opportunity for veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The camp takes place in beautiful Fairfield, Idaho at the base of Soldier Mountain. Lodging, food and snacks are provided for the veterans during their week-long intensive treatment program, using proven and evidenced-based methods. This service is provided at no cost to them and is completely supported by your donations.
Ironstone Farm Program for Combat Veterans (Andover, MA)
Lone Survivor Foundation Therapeutic Retreats
Lone Survivor Foundation is committed to providing support to service members and veterans struggling with invisible injuries such as combat trauma stress, mild traumatic brain injury, chronic pain management and military sexual trauma. These painful injuries have devastating effects on the individual as well as their family. LSF’s goal is to support both the individual and the family through education, coping skills and reducing their symptoms of stress.
To that end, LSF conducts retreats throughout the year with a focus on wellness and therapeutic support. Retreats are conducted over a five day weekend (Thursday fly in, Monday fly out) at scenic facilities, allowing ample opportunity for the healing effect of nature and relaxation. We serve all military branches and backgrounds; Our focus is toward combat stress, mTBI and chronic pain issues, with an emphasis on service members and veterans from Operation New Dawn, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. We conduct individual service member retreats, couples retreats and family retreats, with the goal of taking the individual and family out of their normal environment, open the mind and emotions and provide tools for moving forward successfully. LSF also conducts separate retreats for survivors of Military Sexual Trauma.
Our retreats provide support for invisible injuries through psycho educational groups, Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) using the EAGALA method, as well as individual sessions focused on brief stress reduction exercises to reduce symptoms of traumatic stress and pain.
McKeever's First Ride
McKeever's First Ride, is an Adaptive Sports (horse riding and equine assisted activities) Clinic, offered across the U.S., through OPAF, the Orthotics and Prosthetics Assistance Fund. It is tailored to accomodate the needs of children and adults who utilize prosthetic limbs or orthotic devices. Participants attend the cost-free clinic, to experience the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of being around horses, learning about the Spirit of the horse, and fellowshipping with others who know the challenge of being differently abled!
The mission of McKeever's First Ride clinics, is to showcase the powerful physical and emotional benefits of working with horses to: amputees, veterans, and children and adults faced with physical challenges, spinal cord injuries, disabilities, and chronic diseases. It is also open to their families and loved ones, because EVERYONE benefits from the warmth, affection, touch, and comfort of a horse or pony!
Medicine Horse Center of Montana (Kalispell, MT)
At Medicine Horse Center of Montana, we believe we have an obligation and responsibility to take care of and give back to our service members and their families by helping them reintegrate back into civilian life, by providing comfort, and by helping them heal through various beneficial services and activities.
The Five by Five program is designed to assist first responders and veterans in developing coping skills to deal with traumatic experiences, depression, anxiety, or relationship issues and foster resiliency and wellness on their own terms. First responders and combat veterans who are dealing with high level stressors: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), MST (Military Sexual Trauma, pre-deployment, post deployment, redeployment burn out and compassion fatigue are very common and vary in their intensity from person to person. Difficult life transitions such a reintegration/retirement stages can also benefit greatly from this program. We provide carefully considered activities with our horses that are experiential and supportive in nature to address mental and behavioral health issues for military personnel, veterans, first responders and their families.
Miles Ranch (Miles of Smiles Foundation) (North Fort Myers, FL)
The Miles of Smiles Foundation is focused on treating post-traumatic stress and other mental disabilities/disorders using equestrian therapy. Equestrian assisted therapy is the use of horses in the evaluation and treatment of patients. It is an amazing therapy because the patient is not treated in the normal setting of doctor patient with questions and answers where the patient feels threatened or intimidated. The patient forms a bond with a chosen horse and based on certain interactions with the horse we can evaluate the patient and start treating them in a very unique way that has worked for thousands of patients especially our veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
There is no charge to veterans in the program. In addition to working with veterans, counseling in grief and loss, anxiety, and depression is available on a limited basis to the general public.
New Freedom Farm (Buchanan, VA)
Healing Humans through Horses is what New Freedom Farm is all about. Our founder is a US Navy veteran who understands PTSD and wants to help others who are suffering.
New York State Psychiatric Institute (New York, NY)
Equine-assisted therapy for veterans study - LINK Additional information - LINK
In collaboration with the Bergen Equestrian Center, staff at the New York State Psychiatric
Institute are conducting a research study to explore the efficacy of Trauma-focused, Equine-assisted Therapy (TF-EAT) in treating veterans clinically diagnosed with PTSD. The planned research study will be carried out in two phases.
- In Phase 1, we will create a manual for the intervention, so that it can be delivered with fidelity. During this phase, we will include 8–12 veterans who will help us refine this investigational treatment.
- In Phase 2, we will use the manualized therapy to treat 24–36 veterans with PTSD.
Why Horses? Horses are highly attuned prey animals, and, by nature, they are skittish or hyper-vigilant. Horses resemble humans in their behavior, particularly in social contexts. In equine-assisted therapy, the horse assumes the role of the “co-therapist” in providing a holistic experience for patients.
What Is the Treatment?
- This is a group treatment. Each group will comprise 4–6 veterans with PTSD.
- As currently planned, the treatment will be delivered in eight 90-minute weekly sessions.
- The treatment sessions will take place at the Bergen Equestrian Center in Leonia, NJ.
Who Is Eligible to Participate?
Veterans who are:
- Between the ages of 18 and 60
- Have a current DSM-5 diagnosis of PTSD (as determined by: diagnostic measures and clinical assessment)
What Are Some of the Benefits of Participating?
All participating veterans will receive:
- A comprehensive psychiatric evaluation
- 8 weeks of equine-assisted therapy
- A referral to local providers or treatment centers, if desired
- The treatment is provided at no cost and participants will be paid up to $300 for research assessment visits.
When Will the Study Start?
We plan to begin the first treatment group in April 2016.
Operation Horses and Heroes (Gilberts, IL and Adrian, MI)
Operation Horses and Heroes, Inc. is a not for profit corporation providing an intensive, multi-day EAP program that immerses the individual and families in the world of the horse. Using a variety of activities, beginning from simple care and grooming to powerful therapy sessions, the full days are filled with opportunities for personal growth and learning while providing ample time to bond with others who have shared similar experiences from their military careers. No prior horse experience is needed and all work is done on the ground as there is no riding involved. Through this program all experience positive change to move forward with a greater sense of accomplishment and outlook for what lies ahead. There is ongoing support and resources available after the program.
Our mission is to provide a dynamic program as a powerful alternative for military personnel, veterans and family members going through their journey of self discovery utilizing the power of the horse.
PATH International Equine Services for Heroes (Nationwide)
PATH Intl. Horses for Heroes assists military veterans through services provided by PATH Intl. members and by providing leadership and guidance for equine assisted activities and therapies.
To accomplish this mission, PATH Intl. centers connect with Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers and Clinics, as well as individual veterans. Veterans of any age can benefit from the program and by being involved with equines.
To locate a PATH-participating facility in your area, use the criteria of Veteran Programs or Horses for Heroes Programs with this LINK from PATH.
Pegasus Rising (Rancho Santa Fe, CA)
Our Equine Assisted Experiential Health Therapy (EAT) program is specifically designed to provide assistance to our U.S. military personnel, as well as their families, in readjusting back into their family and civilian lives. Many of our returning service members are being diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and our program can definitely help heal these service members too. By interacting with our herd as equals, without any form of domination, our program helps military personnel reconnect with their civilian lives in a natural and fun way. Click here to learn more about the organizations and individuals that provide inspiration and support for EAT.
Quantum Leap Farm (Odessa, FL)
Programs are available for:
- Active military-transitions within service
- Inactive military or veterans-transition to civilian life
- Military spouses and family members
Reins of Change (Elgin, IL)
Therapy teams at Reins of Change specialize in the treatment of eating disorders, ADHD, anxiety, behavior disorders, chemical dependency, depression, grief, self-injury, PTSD
and other mental health or relationship issues.
Reins of Change works with hospitals, residential treatment programs and private practice groups to develop and provide private Equine Assisted Psychotherapy programs.
Reins of Hope (Ojai, Santa Barbara, Malibu, CA)
Reins of H.O.P.E., located in scenic Ojai, California, is a non-profit organization serving the community by offering an Equine Assisted Psychotherapy program to at-risk youth, families, individuals and groups. We partner with horses as an experiential form of therapy, emphasizing the unique needs of each individual to promote growth and learning about themselves and how changes in their behavior, thoughts and feelings can bring change in their lives.
Our H.O.P.E. for WARRIORS program serves active military members, their families and veterans using equine assisted psychotherapy at no cost.
Riding My Way Back (documentary)
Riding My Way Back is a short documentary that chronicles one soldier’s journey back from the brink of suicide. In 2010, Staff Sergeant Aaron Heliker returned from multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), in addition to third-degree burns and nerve damage from a roadside bomb. At his most desperate and isolated, on 42 medications and suicidal, Aaron is introduced to the unlikeliest of saviors: a horse named Fred. Through caring for Fred and building mutual trust, Aaron begins the difficult process of reconnecting to the world around him and healing the terrible, invisible wounds of war that had nearly defeated him.
River Cities Therapy and Recreation Center, Inc. (Milton, WV)
River Cities Therapy and Recreation Center, Inc. in Milton, WV is pleased to be a part of the nationwide program Horses for Heroes, Inc. whose mission is to make horseback riding affordable for, an accessible to our local heroes—veterans and their families.
The Horses for Heroes, Inc. program was created to give active duty military personnel, returning combat veterans, wounded warriors and their families the opportunity to ride a horse for free! We want them to ride a horse and experience the special bond and friendship of horses.” We are pleased to be able to offer this program to our local veterans and their families as our way of saying thank you for their service to our country. “
S.A.D.L.E.S. Ranch, Inc. - Code H.O.R.S.E. (Umatilla, FL)
Our program is dedicated to active duty, former military and retired veterans and their families. During this time we will share with you how to learn to be calm, at peace and at ease with our exclusive CODE H.O.R.S.E program.
This unique program developed by its founder is based on the outcomes from a two and one half year pilot research study designed and co-facilitated by Cher Myers, founder of S.A.D.L.E.S. Ranch, Inc. and U.C.F., College of Medicine. No horse experience is required.
Our programs include:
- Military Mondays & Tactical Tuesdays
- Individual, Small Group & Family Equine Therapy
- 8 Week group equine therapy program
- 3-4 Day nature based equine therapy programs including spouses/significant others
- Monthly support groups for the parents & spouses/significant others of deployed military
- Individual and Family Counseling
- Our goal is to serve our military veterans and their families through nature based equine therapy and activities, research and education.
- Many of our military rode horses into war, now they are bring our military home. Watch this video to learn more about equine therapy and CODE H.O.R.S.E.
Saratoga WarHorse (Saratoga Springs, NY and Aiken, SC)
Saratoga WarHorse is a nonprofit organization assisting veterans who are suffering from invisible, psychological wounds by providing a confidential, peer-to-peer, action based, equine-assisted experience that initiates immediate and empowering changes.
Saratoga WarHorse offers veterans a three-day experience that has proven to be effective and invaluable for those struggling to adjust to life after military service. The program is provided at no cost to the veterans.
Semper Fi Fund Jinx McCain Horsemanship Program
The Semper Fi Fund’s Jinx McCain Horsemanship Program, as a part of Team Semper Fi, provides riding and horsemanship clinics across the nation to wounded service members and their families.
Solid Rock Therapeutic Riding Center (Uniontown, OH)
We will “rise up and do our part” in serving those that have served and protected us.Solid Rock TRC will provide equine assisted therapy for Veterans and their families in an effort to help them build trust, confidence and courage.This form of therapy can help individuals recover from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) while promoting physical, emotional, social, and cognitive healing.Activities include therapeutic horseback riding, assisting in horse care including grooming, tacking and general care of our horses.
Spring Reins of Life (Clinton, NJ)
Spring Reins of Life's military programs are divided into two sections – Operation Horse and Coming HOME. All services within SROL are funded and free of charge to military service members and their families.
http://www.springreinsoflife.org/operation-horse/ - The goal of Operation Horse (O.H.) is to assist warriors in developing coping skills to deal with traumatic experiences and foster wellness on their own terms. Combat veterans who are dealing with high level stressors post deployment as well as reintegration / retirement stages can benefit greatly from this program. http://www.springreinsoflife.org/coming-home/ - Coming HOME is a specifically designed workshop program for members of the armed forces (active duty, reservists, and veterans) and their families. Military families face challenges that civilian families don’t. In the case of OIF and OEF families, there are even higher stressors than that of previous wars. Sometimes, the happiness of coming home is replaced by strain as conflict arises as the family attempts to re-integrate.
Coming HOME offers sessions to military couples, families and groups. We provide carefully considered activities with our horses that are explorative and supportive in nature to aid service members and their families with difficult transitions typically associated with military life. Ground based exercises with the horses are designed to mimic real life issues. This allows the warriors, their family members and the facilitators to “see” where the challenges are and find solutions that work. This process quickly creates situations that will highlight unhealthy patterns and personal strengths or weaknesses. At the same time, pathways for new and more solid ways to relate and communicate can be re-enacted. A facilitated process, such as this, can serve as an intervention for relationship distress and impairment.
The Big Red Barn Retreat (Blythewood, SC)
The Big Red Barn Retreat is a 501(c)(3) and strives to create a peaceful, nurturing, therapeutic haven in a natural setting to provide a feeling of peace, tranquility and a sense of connection and stability for those in need. We service those suffering from PTSD and other combat related stress issues. We currently offer equine assisted psychotherapy and therapeutic yoga. For more information, visit our website at www.thebigredbarnretreat.org Equine Assisted Psychotherapy - The BRB Retreat partners with Pathways Growth and Learning Center, an approved tri-care mental health provider, to offer Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP). EQP is the practice of using horses in a therapy session with a licensed therapist and a horse professional to address mental & behavioral heath issues. Participants partner with the horse in activities, and by doing so, become aware of patterns and beliefs that are getting in the way to finding effective solutions to problems or issues in their lives. For more information or to schedule an initial consultation, contact Pathways at (803) 403-8469 or visit www.thebigredbarnretreat.org for more information.
The Equus Effect (Sharon, CT)
The Equus Effect offers a unique equine-based five-session program (offered for five consecutive weeks for 1/2 day each session.) for veterans, their families and caregivers.
The Homestretch (for veterans only) is a peer-to-peer program that meets you wherever you are on your journey back to life at home, work and school. These sessions are designed to address whatever issues and concerns are 'up' for you when you arrive at the farm.. We help make successful relationships possible by using the basic principles of natural horsemanship. These principles…also called 'horse whispering' involve gaining trust through emotional honesty, learning how to set healthy boundaries and communicating with clarity. Working this way with horses can help you…
- Build emotional and mental resilience
- Communicate more effectively
- Experience for yourself that true power comes with finesse not force
We can show you how to BE better… not just DO better…in life.
Warriors in Transition (for veterans and their loved ones) is a confidential program for veterans who want to focus on the more personal aspects of relationships at home. This program helps accelerate the transition from military to civilian life for all members of the family. Just like the 'round table', our round pen is a place where everyone can be seen and heard. Our equine coaches can show you how to ask for space, rebuild trust, restore healthy boundaries and communicate in a way that works. We can also help show you how to lead without force and relax without losing awareness.
- Communicate more effectively
- Ask for space without getting angry
- Collaborate rather than control
- Make sense out of your emotions
- Relax and enjoy the connection to those you love
Veteran Mentor Program - Once you've completed enough sessions to understand the basic principles of non-verbal communication with our horses, you're eligible to earn a Certificate in Natural Horsemanship I and join our network of veterans liaisons. This aspect of our program is about serving others and helping new vets get acclimated to the farm and comfortable working with horses. Our aim is to build an authentic community where vets can BE better together…not just DO better on their own.
Therapeutic Riding of Tuscaloosa (West Alabama)
Therapeutic Riding of Tuscaloosa is a program that provides equine assisted therapies and therapeutic riding activities to veterans and their families in the West Alabama area.
We receive regular referrals from our local Tuscaloosa Veterans Administration Medical Center, as well as from the community. We provide a psychotherapy program that utilizes the VA's Cognitive Processing Therapy protocol and adds the element of working with horses to the program. We work from a therapy manual that is currently being researched as to its effectiveness in adding to and improving recovery rates over the standard office based CPT protocol.
Although we are in a position to bill the VA as a licensed provider, I do accept TRICARE, and we encourage a small donation to the program at the time of services, we never turn away a veteran for lack of ability to make a financial contribution.
We serve not only the veterans, but the spouses and children as well, knowing that living with a veteran who is returning from combat is often a difficult experience. We try to facilitate the transition from combat to home by supporting the entire family as they adjust to the soldier's return to home.
Unbridled Joy Therapeutic Riding (Bealeton, VA)
Unbridled Joy is a local Therapeutic riding program that works with autistic and blind children, veterans, and those with disabilities from physical to emotional. We are working locally with The American Legion, VFW, Warrior Retreat at Bull Run, and the Moose Lodge.
Unbridled Warriors (Green Cove Springs, FL)
Unbridled Warriors Inc.'s mission is to provide Equine Assisted Personal Growth, Equine Experiential Growth and Development, and Equine Interactive Services to military personnel, veterans, first responders, and their families.
Veterans Art and Farm Therapy (Suffolk, VA)
Our mission is to provide free support for mentally ill veterans and their families using Stargazer Stables' farm facilities for therapeutic treatment and reconnecting family units. The farm acts as a catalyst allowing veteran families to work through interpersonal relationships in a less stressful environment using nature as a tool for positive change.
Equine Therapy - Horses are masters of nonverbal communication. Learn about yourself by working with them and recognizing negative patterns of behavior. By becoming in-tune with a living creature, you develop better interpersonal relationship with coworkers and our family.
Veterans Equine Training Services (VETS) (Round Rock, TX)
Veterans Equine Training Services (VETS) is a unique horsemanship program designed as a recreational & community-building opportunity for veteran families.
Veterans Healing Farm (Hendersonville, NC)
Veterans Healing Farm is partnering with Heart of Horse Sense to offer Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. This holistic approach provides veterans an opportunity to rebuild their ability to connect with themselves and others, learn self-acceptance and exhibit more empathy with family and friends.
Veterans Multi-Purpose Center (Central Florida)
Veterans Multi-Purpose Center is proud that we are the only veterans organization in Florida with an IRS 501(c)(3) status that:
- Provides professional referral and outreach services to veterans utilizing public, private, and government organizations.
- Provides Equine Assisted Therapy for veterans suffering from PTSD.
- Provides weekend therapy retreats for veterans.
- Partnerships with other non-profits for the sole purpose of providing transitional housing for homeless veterans.
- Provides a substance abuse and recovery program for veterans.
- Doesn't have special eligibility requirements for veterans to receive services.
The Veterans Multi-Purpose Center is the only organization in the country using an Equine Agility Program as a therapeutic modality for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other emotional conditions.
Do You Want to Start Your Own Equine Assisted Therapy Program for veterans? We’ve put together a 14-page guideline to help you get started in developing your own Equine Assisted Therapy Program.
Veterans Therapy Haven (Stratford, OK)
Failure is not something we are accustomed to at the Veterans Therapy Haven. Every veteran is individual, everyone has the right to be helped. By utilizing pioneering techniques and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, Equine Assisted Learning and Veterans Administration PTSD Recovery Program the results are incredible.
A New haven is in preparation to be built in central Oklahoma. State of the art facilities and therapy rooms, 50 acres of rural beauty creating a peaceful sanctuary for all that visit.
Victory Therapeutic Horsemanship (Central Pennsylvania)
Victory Therapeutic Horsemanship has been founded to provide veterans in central Pennsylvania a much needed equine therapy program. Studies have repeatedly shown that therapeutic riding has a massive positive effect on combat veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI), and coping with pain and physical injuries. Through working with horses we aim to empower our veterans and offer a gratifying outlet in which to work through their ailments.
War Horse Ranch
Our goal at War Horse Ranch, LLC is to provide our nation's heroes with experiential alternative solutions designed to help reintegration and reunification. We want to "pay it forward" through hard work, dedication, commitment and community service. War Horse Ranch wants to see more "therapeutic" locations and availabilities to our veterans. We want to bridge the gap between the Vietnam veterans and OEF/OIF/OND veterans. While we are primarily focusing on OEF/OIF/OND veterans, we are fully aware of the ongoing emotional injuries of veterans from other wars, conflicts and theaters. We want to invite any veteran to reach out. If you suffer, please know there are people who are willing to help. Your journey may be just what a younger veteran needs to hear in order to manage their own demons. Please don't hesitate to become involved.
War Horse Ranch, LLC has goals of reaching out to all veterans, their immediate family members and their community. You have not been forgotten, NO SOLDIER LEFT BEHIND...on or off the battlefield.
War Horses for Veterans Foundation (Stilwell, KS)
War Horses for Veterans is a three-day equine and networking experience. Veterans will have the opportunity to bond with horses, as well as each other, in a safe and comfortable environment. Transportation, hotel and meals are provided at no cost to the veteran. Prior experience with horses is not required.
Warrior Camp by TRR, Inc. (New York, NY)
The mission of Warrior Camp® is to create an environment in which the trauma of war can be addressed. Warrior Camp (WC) is a week-long retreat located in serene and secluded locations that foster the development of a close-knit community within which healing can occur. They include a healthy balance of trauma therapy, relaxation and leisure activities.
Warrior Camp® is a FREE program for active military and veterans of all eras.
Warriors Haven Equine Outreach (Los Gatos, CA)
Warriors Haven Equine Outreach is a subsidiary of America's Wild Horse Advocates, a non-profit organization that devotes itself to saving America's Mustangs. Warriors Haven is extending that by using the Mustang, Taser as an ambassador for helping soldiers that are effected by PTSD. Our short term goal is to have events at local venues that allow horses to be used as a medium to bring Soldiers and their families together to commiserate and bond with each other and the horses. Equine therapy is a proven way of helping soldiers release themselves and start to feel whole again.
WHEO's long term goal is to have a place where we can bring in soldiers, have them stay for an extended time and help train off the range Mustang's to improve adoption chances. Our training methods would be taught by Robin Shen of Enlightened Horsemanship. This not only helps our Warriors but our Mustang's as well.
The previous programs have been held in the California Central Coast area, our goal though is to expand to the San Francisco Bay Area, and other areas along the Western Border.
W Heart W Therapeutic Riding Stables (Batesville, AR)
W Heart W desires to meet the diverse needs of individuals and equines through equine assisted therapies and activities. We offer a variety of different riding activities depending on individual needs.
There is no charge to participate in our program. We encourage participants to find sponsors and we accept donations, however our goal is to improve the quality of life not only of our participants but of our parents and volunteers.
Therapeutic riding uses equine-oriented activities for the purpose of contributing positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional, and social well being of people with disabilities and emotional issues. Equine related therapies and activities have been proven time and again to improve overall health and wellness of individuals, from social problems to Alzheimer's affects. PTSD and benefits for rape victims. A-Z....old, young, man, woman, student, veteran... Therapeutic riding helps troubled youth develop self-control, build competence and confidence, learn how to cooperate, and improve communications and learning skills.
Equine activities encourage movement of and strengthening of underused or underdeveloped muscles, improve posture and coordination, help develop gross and fine motor skills, increase the riders awareness of their body in space, and improve their range of motion. In addition, riders with disabilities increase their self esteem and self-confidence, learn problem solving skills, and increase their ability to focus and stay on task. All of this while they are having having a safe and exciting experience!
Wild Horse Canyon Ranch Retreat - Wild Horse Warrior Boot Camp (Caliente, CA)
Wounded veterans participate in our Wild Horse Warrior Boot Camp to learn how to gentle wild mustangs. The process of gaining the horses’ trust through authentic and congruent word, action and emotion increases insight and behavior change in the veteran as well as the horse. The relationship between horse and human, created through our wild horse gentling techniques and camp fire sharing, encourages healing of physical, emotional and spiritual trauma and inspires building a “new” intimacy with loved ones at home.
This unique equine healing program brings veterans coming home from deployment with physical, mental and emotional wounds to our rescue ranch for 3 or 4 days to find healing in the act of gentling wild horses. As the wild mustangs become gentled by the Warriors, the Warriors themselves also become “gentled”, finding new purpose and gaining insight into how trauma creates overwhelming fear and sadness which, in turn, creates anger.
Through the gentling and ground training activities, horses and human began to build honest communication, understanding and a relationship based on respect and trust. Each moment during this process, the clients began to reveal themselves in a safe manner, observing their own behavior, and receiving direct and immediate feedback while connecting with another living being. The self-discovery individuals experienced with a horse provided them with more knowledge and accountability often times too threatening to explore even with a therapist. Because of the experiential aspect of our programs, changes in behavior and increased insight often arise quickly and have a lasting transferable effect.
Working with horses, asks the participant to be congruent in thoughts and actions, creating mind and body integration. Our sessions are supervised by trained horse clinicians with a therapist present. Each day consists of process groups exploring how these new insights and behaviors can re-build family relationships and re-cover the confidence needed for employment.
Wounded Warrior Equestrian Program
The Wounded Warrior Equestrian Program is a network of therapeutic farms, horse rescues, professional horseman, and professional military members spread throughout the United States dedicated to the WWEP mission of “Giving Veterans and Horses a New Lease On Life”
The vision behind the WWEP is not to reinvent the wheel, by establishing another equine therapeutic program or horse rescue, but to assist subject matter experts already providing this support within their communities and bringing our war veterans to them. Equine therapy is such an amazing benefit in assisting our veterans and service members in getting back to being themselves once they return home. The WWEP is about creating a team, establishing a recognizable brand, which supports more than just one horse farm.
Contact the organization for locations.
Wounded Warriors Abilities Ranch (Pinellas Park, FL)
Wounded Warriors Abilities Ranch will accommodate service-bound veterans with a focus on wheelchair-bound veterans. Our mission is to honor, strengthen and empower warriors by providing various recreational activities in a safe and relaxing environment.
- Provide recreational facilities services and events to serve in excess of 125 local-area wounded veterans annually
- Provide methodology for tracking and reporting on site usage
- Provide a model recreational and vacation facility which can be emulated in other parts of the country to serve wounded veterans nation-wide
- Provide vacation housing for 100 wheelchair-bound wounded veterans (from anywhere in the nation) and their families annually.
Books about equine therapy
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