Horses are noble, helpful, and good for the spirit. Equine interactions are an increasingly popular activity for veterans recovering from injuries, both physical and mental. This program is sponsored by the Wounded Warriors Project.
You are in the moment.
Horses live in the moment, they do not think about the past or future. They sense your emotions, and you must focus your energy and be intentional with your commands and body language. This concentration and connection with the animal can offer a veteran a mental break.
It is peaceful, but physical.
Fresh air is beneficial to the mind and body. Working with a horse for an extended period of time is deceptively physical, you’ll feel it the next day!
Create new memories.
It is exciting to learn something new – there is no pressure or expectations from the animal; they simply wait for your command and when given correctly, they respond as you ask. These small successes can go a long way in rebuilding confidence and finding moments of happiness in your new experiences.
It's a new partner!
Working with a horse on a regular basis offers a new partner relationship with another living creature. You work together to accomplish goals, build trust, and look after one another. You reconnect to your own sense of self-confidence in leading, as the horse will follow!
And it's just fun!
The escape from daily life on the back of a good horse can go a long way in helping heal a war-weary mind and body, and can give a veteran hope that they will again feel the joy and happiness they hoped to return to after battle.