HORSES & HEROES

PILOT PROGRAM

Strides will initiate the first program of it’s type in Tri-Cities within the near weeks.  The program named Horses & Heroes will be offered 100% fee-free to the participants.  Three people will be selected for this pilot program.

EQUINE-FACILITATED HEALING

With the use of horses, the Horses & Heroes program facilitates physical and emotional healing for our nation’s heroes.  Horses & Heroes is a program for people who have worked or currently still work in abnormally high stress environments including, but not exclusive to, law enforcement, fire, EMS and military service.  We offer a safe, welcoming place for all to participate in healing.

 

Our horses and a highly-trained team of volunteers help the participants learn life-skills and healing through horsemanship.  These simple, yet profound, lessons over the course of two five-week sessions help guide broken souls back to a passion for life, trust and the relationships that will sustain them throughout the future.

 

WOULD THIS PROGRAM BENEFIT YOU

Do you struggle with PTSD, anxiety or panic disorder?

Do you have a history of depression?

Do you prefer to remove yourself from large crowds?

Do you enjoy nature or horses?

 

If you answered YES to any of these questions, please call or email us to apply.

Partnering directly with ______ and private referrals we help our heroes struggling to cope with PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injuries, combat injuries, mental health challenges and other visible and invisible wounds of war. 

 

 

Our participants often come to us struggling with thoughts of suicide, have pulled away from family and friends and are struggling to cope with their changed reality. 

 

 

Our horses, and highly trained teams of staff and volunteers help these riders learn life-skills and healing through horsemanship. These simple, yet profound lessons help guide broken souls back to a passion for life, trust and the relationships that will sustain them throughout the future. 

 

 

Please explore our site, and consider donating to support our warriors continued healing. 

 

 

Strides Therapeutic Horsemanship Center receives no government funding for these programs and relies entirely on the support of our communities to fund these life-changing programs.

 

 

Learn horsemanship, develop riding skills, learn about horse behavior, ride in an arena and on the trail while you socialize with other veterans.  A PATH, Intl. certified instructor teaches all lessons. Lessons are offered Tuesday from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.

 

Equine Facilitated Non-Mounted Workshops

A six week program working alongside horses and certified equine specialists.  ALL work is non-mounted. Workshops will include:

 

 

Horses are very sensitive, highly alert, and exceptional at reading non-verbal communication.  Horses allow us the opportunity to work through how to change our lives in an experiential, in-the-moment and emotionally safe environment. 

 

Solution-focused -> participants must find their own solutions to proposed exercises through hands-on experience; they learn to rely on themselves & their team members.

 

Foster resilience -> experiential activities recreate frustrations, stressors, and relationship problems.  Participants learn to adapt, improvise, and overcome perceived stressors as effectively at home as they do on the battlefield.

 

Non-verbal communication -> horses confront unhealthy non-verbal messages, providing awareness of how participants communicate & promoting change to healthy communication styles.

 

Adaptability -> participants must respond to the unpredictability & inability to "control" the horses & discover ways to make the relationship work.

Equine Facilitated Mounted Workshops

A six week program focused on learning skills for healthy transitions between military assignment and civilian responsibilities.

 

Workshops may help participants:

 

  • Increase core body strength

  • Improve balance

  • Sharpen spatial and cognitive awareness

  • Help with independence and social skills

  • Develop gross and fine motor skills

  • Exercise memory and sequencing abilities 

The Strides Military Horsemanship Program is a therapeutic outlet to allow participants to better cope with their current circumstances.

 

Focusing on:

  • Confidence Building

  • Team Building

  • Workmanship Skills

  • Communication

  • Personal Space

  • Balance

  • Equine Skills (Grooming, Tacking, and Riding)

  • Physical Strength

  • Anger Management

The Military Horsemanship Program will provide a quiet, safe, relaxing environment where participants can share their experiences and have fun!

The Benefits

 

Physical:
The movement of the horse’s gait at a walk is similar to a human’s walking motion.  The horse’s simulated gait can assist wounded military/veterans to strengthen specific muscle groups, which may ultimately aid the participant as he or she relearns how to walk or use prostheses.

 

Social:
The ranch and classroom setting provides a safe and peaceful environment for wounded military and veterans to share issues and fears.  They bond in a non-judgmental atmosphere with fellow veterans, the equines and volunteers.

 

Cognitive:
Wounded military and veterans working with and around horses learn the proper sequence of completing tasks to ensure that the horses remain cooperative and responsive.  Good judgment is needed in making decisions during activities around the horse and when riding or participating in other EAAT.  The order and directions required to develop riding skills are familiar strategies to veterans and wounded military personnel.

 

Emotional:
Bonding with a large animal can be emotionally satisfying and comforting.  Wounded military and veterans have found a great deal of relief in the grooming of a horse. The repetitive motion proves soothing to individuals with anxiety issues.

Forms

Rider Photo Release

Liability Release

Physician Release

http://www.rtriding.org/resources/RTR%20Intake%20Packet%20Checklist.pdf

http://www.rtriding.org/resources/Rainier_Therapeutic_Riding_-_Rider_Handbook%5B1%5D.pdf

Why horses?
The bond between horse and human is undeniable and well documented. In a variety of ways, interacting with horses helps people with disabilities to reach their greatest potential.

Veterans helping Veterans
Veteran volunteers are recruited to help out their fellow veterans. They provide moral and physical support to their wounded comrades, honoring the military philosophy of no Veteran left behind.

 

All Veteran volunteers will receive training in program goals, horse handling, side walking, and safety.

 

Who is it for?
Open to all interested Veterans seeking to share their experiences and improve their overall behavioral, physical, mental, or emotional well-being such as PTSD, specific issues faced by wounded and traumatized military personnel.  Riding may be a challenging, exercise,  no horse experience needed.

 

Cost?
FREE!  Strides relies on fundraisers, grants and donations to help provide this service to our Veterans

Where is it located?
Strides Therapeutic Horsemanship Center (a supportive and therapeutic environment)

Others who have found therapeutic riding to be beneficial to Veterans: 

American Legion, Veterans Administration, Disabled American Veterans, Equine Services for Heroes, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians, nurses and rehabilitation specialists, and PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, Intl.).

 

How does a Veteran become a participant?
Complete a rider packet that will have to be medically approved from a physician or therapists then return to Strides Therapeutic Horsemanship Center as soon as possible!

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