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Equine Therapy Benefits Veterans

When we think of the numerous therapies available to veterans dealing with physical, emotional, and psychological challenges, our minds might not immediately jump to horses.

However, equine therapy and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, has proven to be a transformative and effective form of treatment for many veterans. This unique approach leverages the profound connection between humans and horses to promote healing and well-being.

Understanding Equine Therapy

Equine therapy involves interactions between patients and horses, guided by a trained therapist. These interactions can include grooming, feeding, and leading horses, as well as riding. The goal is to create a therapeutic environment where veterans can address various issues stemming from their military service, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and physical disabilities.

My personal experience with veterans and military personnel in the horse world has been amazing.  My farrier was a marine and he has been the most timely and consistent farrier I’ve ever had.  He has called out sick once in 12 years because he had covid. I believe horses have had a profound impact on his life not just because they are his profession but his passion as well.

I also had a young woman who worked for me that was National Guard and had done multiple tours overseas.  She quickly went from a stall cleaner to a groom to basically managing my barn and becoming one of my best friends!  Her discipline and work ethic has not been duplicated by anyone else since.  Her love for horses started as a young girl and has carried her through many a tough time.  I now hope to get to watch her son enjoy some of my ponies one day.

I’ve seen the impact of horses on these people and how they have stabilized their lives and provided joy.  I also know what amazing things horses have done for me personally.  I can only imagine the benefits to veterans that haven’t tapped into the horse human relationship.   As a horse person I encourage you to investigate Equine Therapy Programs for Veterans in your area.  Many have volunteer and donation programs.  Let’s spread our love of horses to those that could benefit from the impact we know horses make!

Pictured: Cat Hynes and Sergeant First Class Ashley DePalma riding in Bray, Ireland.

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Veteran Equine Therapy
Cat Hynes and Sergeant First Class Ashley DePalma riding in Bray, Ireland.


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