Operation Warrior Horse
The mission of Operation Warrior Horse is focused on improving the quality of life for Veterans through the healing of invisible wounds related to military service and increasing a sense of personal well-being.
Provided 2 hours a week for 10 weeks this is a group therapy program facilitated by our LCSW and Equine Specialist. It is a closed group for Veterans who are seeking to heal from the emotional wounds incurred while serving in the military. Veterans engage in various planned activities with the horses to help facilitate healing, learn and strengthen coping skills, and are able to leave the group with an enhanced support network.
Our program emphasizes the importance of connection, starting with one’s own body and expanding to encompass the world around them. The possibility of developing genuine connections tends to begin in the safety of partnership with the horse and translates to relationships with self and others.
Horses’ natural instinct of present moment awareness, feeling safe and knowing who to trust makes them perfect partners for Veterans in this program.
Shepard Meadows hosts Veterans at our 26 acre farm to explore, observe and interact with horses.
Exploring Relationships with Horses and Humans
Horses are prey animals who always feel safest in a herd with other horses. They are also flight animals which means that when a horse feels fear, their first line of defense is to run. Instinctively, they know when the danger has passed and are able to return to a state of calmness. In order to do this they have to develop the ability to trust each other and establish clear relationships.
Veterans have an opportunity to work closely with our horses and learn about how to move through anxiety to calm. These thousand pound teachers will walk you through obstacle courses, up and down hills and introduce you to your own inner landscape.
All participants work directly with horses either mounted or unmounted.