Horses and Warriors, a Timeless Bond
From the dawn of civilization until the 20th century, the horse served man in industry, in agriculture…and in war. The bond between us was deep, reverent and often emotional. Rekindling that long-broken bond is a prime goal of the Wounded Warrior Equestrian Program.
Veterans return from the battlefield with wounds seen and unseen. Many suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD,) brain injury, paralysis or loss of limb. Physical handicap and emotional withdrawal can prevent veterans – and their families – from “moving on” and living life fully.
The horse, perhaps like no other animal, can help. Whether it’s an aged mare that just needs some love and attention, or a healthy stallion that will challenge the veteran mentally and physically, the horse wants to bond – he insists on it! And in forging that bond, the horse helps bring the veteran back into the world.
Horse rescue and veteran equine rehabilitation charities work to re-establish the relationship between horse and warrior, and the results are truly inspiring. With your help, the Wounded Warrior Equestrian Program can provide the financial and logistical resources to make it happen!
The Healing Power of the Horse
Even for the most able-bodied, riding a horse is a physical challenge. Calves, thighs, glutes, lower back – it’s a workout. And it’s infinitely more fun than a treadmill!
Equine therapy has helped veterans go from “barely able to lift himself out of a wheelchair” to almost walking! For a brain-injured veteran, the horse can help him regain his balance. It can help him re-establish the connections between the left and right brain functions that most of us take for granted.
From the veteran with PTSD, often shut-down emotionally, it can be something more. The horse demands interaction. It also inspires empathy and compassion. The bond that results can pave the way to emotional healing and more positive relationships with friends and families. (Courtesy of the WWEP)