Horses are highly attuned animals. They offer safe reflection and compelling feedback for the fears and anxieties military clients may face. This is especially true for those suffering from trauma, PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) or Military Sexual Trauma (MST). In the hands of our professional facilitation team – a licensed mental health professional and a certified equine specialist – the horses’ unique sensitivity aid clients to understand their own internal processes and create new perspectives.
We collaborate with freely moving horses to deepen the healing experiences, personalized insights, and outcomes. Clients learn from the horses’ natural instincts and communication skills. They meet us in the moment, as we are, creating heartfelt awareness. This offers the opportunity for clients to “get out of their head” and rewrite their stories! Horses respond to subtle shifts in energy and thoughts, which allows for our clients’ stories to unfold. When we can see, touch, relate with and move through our stories, internal changes occur.
When our stories change, we change!
“All of the participants symptoms were reduced as a result of the program, but what was also evident was the accelerated rate at which this occurred. ”
Observing the dynamics of a herd of horses can help clients better understand the dynamics of their own family, military unit and community. It allows for a positive model for fostering collaboration, support and trust. The horses provide an emotionally safe way to work through and strengthen relationships in life – whether it be within themselves, others, their beliefs, or the environment.
Our services are based on experience and doing. The treatment sessions re-create life experiences, including those involving frustrations, high stress, and relationship problems. The sessions provide opportunities for service members and their families to re-discover their resources and their strengths. They acquire positive skills, fostering a new context for civilian life after deployment and/or military service. In-the-moment feedback from the horses is gained, thus promoting healing.
Clients experience activities with horses that remove much of the perceived stigma associated with traditional talk therapy treatment methods. When treatment is about doing, it is more engaging. Engagement increases impact! Data confirms that this population is more likely to start and complete treatment with this model, with less dropout and recidivism than traditional talk therapies. Military clients repeatedly attest to how quickly and deeply they get to the root of their issues and subsequent meaningful changes.
Equine-assisted therapy leaders met with U.S. congressman to talk successes, challenges following funding increase
How Horse Therapy Can Help Veterans
Equine-Assisted Therapy for Veterans with PTSD:
Manual Development and Preliminary Findings
Equine‐assisted therapies using horses as healers: A concept analysis
Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy: Healing Therapy or Just Hype?
Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy: Facing Trauma With a Horse by Their Side
Helping With Horses: Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)