According to the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD occurs in 11-20% of the veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, 10% of veterans of the Gulf War, and 30% of Vietnam veterans. Post-traumatic stress is a significant predictor of suicide, according to the National Institutes of Health, and, according to the Department of Defense, 22 veterans commit suicide every day. In addition, according to the Wounded Warrior Project, for every U.S. soldier killed, seven have been injured in the recent wars overseas, leading to a large population of disabled veterans.
Our veterans have paid a high price for our country and their duty. We want to help them enjoy their lives back home, so that we can reduce the number of veteran suicides and increase the quality of life for our servicemen and women and their families.
Through our Veterans Horsemanship program, our PATH-certified horseback riding instructors, therapists and volunteers direct the veterans and service members in horseback riding and horse care. For riders, the result of horse-centered therapy is increased strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, communication, freedom, confidence and trust.
Equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) can be quite powerful, because physical, cognitive or emotional needs do not limit people from interacting with horses, and horses can be the reliable partner that so many veterans long for after the community of the armed forces. Also, experiencing the rhythmic motion of a horse can be very beneficial, and riders with physical needs often show improvement in flexibility, coordination, balance, motor development
and muscle strength.
Horse therapy can help veterans and service members with many challenges, including:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Speech injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Traumatic brain injury
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADD or ADHD)
- Interpersonal skills
- Confidence and communication
- Goal-setting and a feeling of achievement
- Improved self-esteem
Healing Reins Therapeutic Riding Center is a PATH International certified center, and provides services for our heroic service men and women in a safe and ethical way. PATH International has long been a leader in offering EAAT (equine-assisted activities and therapies) to wounded military veterans and active service personnel. We recognize the tremendous sacrifice that brings many of these men and women to our facility and we want every single rider to feel valued, empowered and encouraged.
Each rider is encouraged to be as independent with his or her horse as possible and to connect with the horse in a trusting partnership. Our horses are safe and calm, and our instructors and therapists are kind and understanding. Every hero who comes to our center is allowed to do as much as he or she feels comfortable with, and we want families and friends to come and cheer on their loved ones if they would like. Therapeutic Horseback Riding can offer freedom, purpose and adventure like no other therapy, and we are always honored by the hard work and motivation that our riders give to their horses, volunteers and therapy time.
If you or someone you love struggles with PTSD or other combat or deployment-related difficulties, call us today for more information about our veterans horsemanship program: 541-382-9410.