[November 28, 2021] Near where I live, a few days ago, I visited a “horse farm” called Chestnut Run Farm. A small group of motivated local folks was there helping Veterans heal mentally. They started this non-profit to make a difference. I have discovered that there are good leaders everywhere, sometimes you have to find them; in this case, they found me.
This group of folks is at the Veteran Equine Therapy Stables, just a short drive from my house and easily accessible to anyone, regardless of handicap. Their “mission is to provide an equine therapy facility to active service members, Veterans and their families to help manage PTSD and to minimize the suicide rate among our military.” 1 Other animals are available other than horses. One of their goats took a liking to me.
In early December, I will be going through their program to experience what they do firsthand. I do this so I can explain to other Veterans the horse therapy program from a personal viewpoint. That has always been my philosophy; experience allows you better to discuss the possibilities and realities of any circumstance. For example, in the Iraq War, I spent at least a quarter of my time traveling about the battlefield to understand better what our troops needed, so my Engineers could build it.
In June, I posted an article about another local horse farm that provides free riding lessons for Veterans and first responders. Hearts Therapeutic Riding Center is where several Veterans and myself are taking riding lessons, but, more importantly, we are becoming more resilient, better focused, and happier for it.
Like so many non-profits, both these horse therapy organizations always need donations and in-person help. If you have the desire, please contribute to their cause (of helping Veterans) and if you live local to any of them, give back by serving on their Board of Directors or just helping around their farms.
Please read my new book, “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” at Amazon (link here).