HORSES & HEROES
Equine-assisted healing for law enforcement, fire, EMS & veterans.
Strides proudly introduces the first program of it’s type in Tri-Cities: Horses & Heroes. Horses & Heroes is offered 100% fee-free to the participants.
A PATH, Intl. certified instructor will be leading the program. Sessions are held Tuesday evenings.
No horse experience required.
The Horses & Heroes program utilizes specially trained horses to facilitate physical and emotional healing for people that work in abnormally high-stress environments including, but not exclusive to, law enforcement, fire, EMS, military, dispatch, and the medical field. Our horses and volunteers help the participants learn life-skills and healing through horsemanship in a safe, quiet and welcoming place. 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?
Have you had thoughts of suicide?
Do you have a history of depression?
Do you feel yourself pulling away from your family and friends?
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.
WHY THE HORSE
The bond between horse and human is undeniable and well documented. Horses are very sensitive, highly alert animals who are exceptional at reading non-verbal communication. They allow us the opportunity to work through how to change our lives in an experiential, in-the-moment and emotionally safe environment.
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 job.
Non-verbal communication — horses confront unhealthy non-verbal messages, providing awareness of how participants communicate and promoting change to healthy communication styles.
Adaptability — participants must respond to the unpredictability and inability to “control” the horses and discover ways to make the relationship work.
Emotional — bonding with a large animal can be emotionally satisfying and comforting. The repetitive motion of grooming proves soothing to those with anxiety.
The program is comprised of two 8-week phases:
Phase One consists of non-mounted work alongside our horses & instructors.
Phase Two consists of mounted work for those who have completed Phase One.
BECOME A PARTICIPANT
Complete an application below.
PARTNER WITH THE HORSES & HEROES PROGRAM
Strides Therapeutic Horsemanship Center receives no government funding for Horses & Heroes and relies entirely on the support of our communities to fund this life-changing programs. If you would like to partner with Strides to support the Horses & Heroes program, use the "partner" button below or contact us at (509) 492-8000 extension "0" or Strides@StridesTC.org. Community organizations referring individuals who may be struggling to cope with PTSD, traumatic brain injury, combat injuries, mental health challenges and other visible or invisible wounds are welcome partners. Individuals or businesses that would like to contribute monetarily to help keep the program free for these amazing individuals are also welcome.
GRADUATES OF H&H
We welcome graduates of the Horses & Heroes program to volunteer in future classes as they provide moral & physical support to their comrades. All graduates who would like to volunteer will receive training in program goals, horse handling, side walking and safety.
OTHERS WHO HAVE BENEFITED
American Legion, Veterans Administration, Disabled American Veterans, Equine Services for Heroes, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians and rehabilitation specialists, and the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, Intl..