[June 11, 2021] Many folks look on the bright side of life, and they are the very ones who help make our daily routines worthwhile. I’m taking horse riding lessons. Yes, I’m from Texas and never took a riding lesson in my life. What I discovered at this horse farm was finding leaders who took the time to show me the ropes – as I am sometimes a slow learner.
I, too, like to look at the world and think that people are basically good. What I witnessed as I traveled the world is that this idea is accurate enough. I recently contacted a local veteran advocate who told me about a local horse farm that gave free riding lessons to vets. Their focus is on people with disabilities, physical or mental.
I arranged a visit and drove a short distance to meet and greet the manager and farm owners. Great folks, all around. What surprised me was that I enjoyed the lessons. There seems some psychic connection between the horse and me. I can’t explain it. The manager, a great lady by the name of Stefanie, told me this is why horse therapy works so well.
Horses and people have had this “connection.”
Returning from my first horse riding lesson and getting to meet some folks who have “heart” in their running of the farm, I thought to myself, wow, I wish I had discovered them earlier. Yesterday, I took another veteran with me. We learned about care for the horse, horse habits and the peculiar traits of our horse, and how to mount, dismount, ride, and steer. I felt better after the experience and was not sore (a small source of pride, I will add).
Finding good leaders everywhere gives me a boost to my overall leadership philosophy.
Good people are everywhere. Today, with communications being instant, we often hear from those who would do us harm or are just plain ignorant. The ignorant seem to be king of the hill these days, but they have a megaphone from which to pontificate. I’m finding ordinary folks don’t like them and would instead get on with their lives.
If you want to be a good leader, then you must also have a goal in mind. And, it would help if you focus your energy on your travels to that goal. Consciously adopting the responsibilities that come with leadership is what the human spirit is all about. This horse farm is a living and breathing example that boosts my leadership philosophy.
When I was in the last year of my military service, I visited a therapeutic horse farm in Virginia. This horse farm was known for its ability to improve the lives of vets. I helped them get the word out about them, and today, I’m getting the word out again.
My lessons are from Hearts Therapeutic Riding Center, Egg Harbor Township in New Jersey. If you have the ability, give them a call and thank them for their value to veterans and others. Their website can be accessed here: https://heartstrc.org/aboutus.html
Powerful. Thanks Gen. Satterfield for bringing this to our attention.
The power of horses to heal
Author: Tim Hayes, Copyright @2015
Riding Home:The Power of Horses to Heal is the first and only book to scientifically and experientially explain why horses have the extraordinary ability to emotionally transform the lives of thousands of men, women and children, whether they are horse lovers, or suffering from deep psychological wounds.
Thank you for the heads up on these organizations (mostly businesses). Never heard of this before. I’m glad you are finding good leaders everywhere. I find them too.
Good leaders are everywhere because people are basically good. I truly believe that. But I also believe there is great evil in many folks too. Those we must stop. But we must also KNOW that we are right beforehand.
This looks like a great documentary to watch. The link was bad. Maybe someone can find it.
Riding My Way Back (documentary)
Riding My Way Back is a short documentary that chronicles one soldier’s journey back from the brink of suicide. In 2010, Staff Sergeant Aaron Heliker returned from multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), in addition to third-degree burns and nerve damage from a roadside bomb. At his most desperate and isolated, on 42 medications and suicidal, Aaron is introduced to the unlikeliest of saviors: a horse named Fred. Through caring for Fred and building mutual trust, Aaron begins the difficult process of reconnecting to the world around him and healing the terrible, invisible wounds of war that had nearly defeated him.
Riding My Way Back Trailer
Equine therapy and other equine programs for military veterans & families
Much apprreciate the info on this “new” kind of therapy. I don’t think it’s just a theory anymore rather a proven way of vets getting better. But, it is not just vets that are getting better from PTSD and stuff like that. Others are also benefiting. I’ve heard that young teenagers are also benefiting, especially those with emotional problems.
Here is an article I ran across recently that shows how horse therapy can work for veterans. “How Horse Therapy Can Help Veterans” https://www.military.com/benefits/veterans-health-care/veteran-horse-therapy.html
Even the US military recognizes it.
Also known as “equine therapy,” veteran horse therapy is simply an experimental treatment involving interactions between a veteran and a horse.
From the article, an excellent point:
“A similar program is War Horses for Veterans out of Stilwell, Kansas, which offers an all-expenses-paid, three-to-five-day equine bonding experience and networking program for combat veterans from across the country. Veterans come to the War Horses for Veterans farm, meet up with old members of their battalion, bond together and also groom, train and ride the horses for a weekend. At the end of the visit, they network and are introduced to job opportunities to help them get settled back into civilian life.”
Thanks guys for pointing out that there are many places that do this. Must be something that works!!
I’ve heard about this equine therapy before and never gave it much thought except that maybe it was just a niche area. Perhaps I was wrong about it. Thanks Gen. Satterfield for bringing it back to our attention.