Standing Ovation by Ovation Riding

Today’s honoree: the Man O’War Project.

Wikimedia Commons/Marcus Quigmire/CC

While anecdotal evidence supports the claim that equine-assisted therapy is beneficial to combat veterans and other individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, no clinical evidence exists — so we don’t know how best to shape therapies or truly how much equine-assisted therapy helps. The Man O’War Project is the first organization to seek to answer these questions.

The mission statement is as follows:

The Man O’ War Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the first university-led research trial aimed specifically at veterans diagnosed with PTSD to determine the effectiveness of Equine-Assisted Therapy for treating PTSD (EAT-PTSD) and to establish manualized guidelines for the application of EAT-PTSD.

The current treatment study is taking place at the Bergen Equestrian Center of Leonia, New Jersey. Group sessions (eight 90-minute sessions, one session per week) are led by mental health professionals and equine specialists; veterans are assessed via questionaire and clinical assessment. All sessions are also videotaped and assessed by research and clinical teams. Follow-up sessions are planned for three months after the treatment period to assess the effectiveness of equine-assisted therapy.

For combat veterans returning home after service, PTSD may include symptoms such as nightmares, negative thoughts or hypervigilance, which can in turn lead to anxiety, depression or substance abuse. New and alternative therapies may prove to be the key towards giving our veterans the care and support they deserve, and equine-assisted therapy may prove to be a major component. The Man O’War Project hopes to prove so.

For more information about the Man O’War project, please visit the organization’s website.

Many thanks thanks to Ovation Riding for their support of both Horse Nation and individuals and organizations that are doing good work in the horse world. If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected]. Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.

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