Once upon a time, I made a wish that I could somehow combine my love for the military and horses into one ball of amazingness. But how could that happen? We don’t fight with horses on the front lines. There were plenty of briefings during my deployment that usually included something along the lines of “don’t let COMCAM even look at the animals”. What’s a girl to do? For years, I schemed.
Today, I found my place of amazingness. A good friend of mine created Horses Help Heroes, a nonprofit organization that focuses on returning freedom to veterans and service members with service-related injuries and are battling PTSD and TBI using equine therapy. Horses Help Heroes is based out of Beech Grove Farm in Gambrills, Maryland. It’s a 25 minute drive from Fort Meade.
It is a huge challenge to adjust to a new normal. There is no training for it. Many, if not all of the veterans, experience frustration, loneliness, and so many more nameless emotions when dealing with this transition. People deal with these emotions in a number of ways: picking up new hobbies, drinking, and taking pills that could potentially turn them into a zombie. I know, I am one of those veterans. Typical therapy didn’t do enough for my PTSD. That all changed once I got involved with horses again. I was a new person after that.
Equine therapy can help our veterans focus on redirecting their energy to the horse, who often reflects those emotions. Through the horse, the veteran can help heal themselves. Like Winston Churchill once said, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”
Horses Help Heroes is a very new program. There are still open slots for veterans and service members interested in equine therapy. They are also looking for volunteers with all kinds of talents: horse handling, helping veterans during their lessons, grant writing, photography (there can never be too many of us!), graphic design, writing, and so much more.
They are also hosting a fundraiser that can be found here. Help us help them. If you can’t donate, please spread the word. Share this blog post using the links below. Don’t forget to go to their Facebook Page and give them a like!