America’s Best Racing produced a video series in the lead-up to this year’s Triple Crown to spotlight horse-based veterans’ equine-assisted therapy programs. Today, learn more about Heroes and Horses.
Horses’ unique ability to serve as a mirror and help humans face their own personal realities of strengths and weaknesses is becoming widely recognized as a valuable healing tool through equine-assisted therapy; that therapy in turn is recognized as a valuable tool for aiding veterans returning to civilian life who are suffering from PTSD.
Micah Fink of Heroes and Horses sees this power in a slightly different way, and harnesses that power in a unique, intense and immersive program that challenges its veterans to look inside in order to heal. Heroes and Horses puts veterans in an intense three-phase 40-day program to teach basic horsemanship and packing skills before heading out into the Montana wilderness with a pack string, led by experienced guides.
Fink is quick to point out that this is not a vacation: it’s an immersive challenge that is designed to tackle veterans’ PTSD head-on. Participants learn quickly how to work with their horse, work with a team, deal with high-stress situations and solve problems. The unique horse/human connection is intended to inspire the personal growth necessary for veterans to step back into their civilian lives.
Fink was long disillusioned with post-combat therapy programs that made veterans feel like victims rather than empowering them to overcome their emotional and physical scars. Horses and Heroes is his answer to that problem. Participation in Heroes and Horses is offered at no cost to the individual.
To learn more about Heroes and Horses and the program’s unique, immersive approach to veterans’ health, 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.