This article was originally posted on November 11, 2014
The horse community has found many ways to offer support to military families in recent years, whether fundraising for veterans services or providing mental, emotional and physical therapy for men and women injured during their service. In honor of Veterans Day, here are some of the ways horses are helping veterans.
PATH International Equine Service for Heroes
Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International offers equine-assisted activities and therapies for veterans through its Equine Services for Heroes programs. Participants benefit from riding and interacting with horses under the guidance of qualified therapeutic horsemanship professionals. Find out more at PathIntl.org.
Operation Free Ride
Horses4Heroes of Nevada supports Operation Free Ride, a program that allows veterans and military families to ride for free. Participating facilities have offered everything from a ride in the arena to trail rides to cattle drives. Operation Free Ride programs are also held at horse shows and equestrian events including the Pinto World Show, Cheyenne Frontier Days and the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Find out more at Horses4Heroes.org.
EAGALA Military Services
The Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA), a non-profit association for equine-assisted therapy professionals, provides a model for therapeutic treatments for veterans. They promote the use of horses in treatment for PTSD as a more active alternative to traditional talk therapies. EAGALA also offers a network of certified programs offering services for veterans. Find out more at EAGALA.org.