Blended Spirits Ranch

Equine Assisted Pyschotherapy and Veterans

Feb 23, 2012 | Posted in Articles

"There's something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man"- Winston Churchill.

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a term that came about from the trauma of life-threatening circumstances and was diagnosed among some of the survivors of wartime combat after the Vietnam War. It is estimated that at least one fourth of all returning troops from the Middle East is or will be afflicted. Equine Assisted Psychotherapy is a tool used to provide Veterans with skills of patience, self confidence, trust and compassion. Horses are 1200 lbs of lie detector. Horses respond negatively to negative emotions and positively to positive emotions with no ulterior motives. It has been noted that one session of equine therapy is equal to five sessions on the couch.

Horses possess a variety of "herd dynamics" that can help Veterans learn about themselves and their own family dynamics. Pushing, kicking, biting, squealing, grooming one another and grazing together are all non-verbal conversations that dictate the position of that horse in the herd. This non-verbal language can improve human body language among ourselves. As the Veteran begins to heal, he or she will feel connected to their world again. Working with horses improves respect for self and others, improves communication and social skills, boundary setting, responsibility and accountability, honesty and trust, problem solving and cooperation, and decision making.

Our Veteran's program starts with spending time in the midst of our herd of trained horses. This starts the building of a relationship between human and equine. Exercises can be as simple as giving the Veteran a halter and letting them determine how to catch the horse and halter it. Along with Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy exercises, the Veterans work their way to mounting and riding when and if they feel confident to do so.

Blended Spirits Ranch is blessed with the opportunity to partner with the Veteran's Center and the wonderful therapists who are dedicated to helping our Veterans. We look forward to continuing to grow our Veteran's program and bringing a brighter future to our returning Soldiers.