On Veterans Day, we want to take the opportunity to give thanks to our nation’s true heroes – the men and women who selflessly dedicate their lives to service in the armed forces. These veterans sacrifice so much and portray the true meaning of bravery and courage.
At Global Sports Development, one of our primary outreach initiatives is supporting organizations and programs that help further the reach of our own mission and values. This year, we were excited to learn of and offer our support to Hearts & Horses, an inspirational therapeutic riding center located in Loveland, Colorado.
Hearts & Horses uses equine therapy programs to fulfill their mission of promoting the physical, cognitive, emotional and social well-being of people with special needs. What really impressed us was the array of dynamic programming offered through Hearts & Horses, which further confirmed the organization’s passion for and dedication to helping those individuals who need it most.
Equine Therapy to Heal Veterans’ Hidden Wounds
On Veterans Day, we are excited to spotlight their Hearts and Horses for Heroes Program. This program, in existence since 2008, is designed to help veterans heal and grow by restoring the wisdom of their mind, body and spirit through their interactions with horses, each other, and the natural world. Our goal is to help them transform pain into hope so that they can regain roles as productive members of society.
A soldier’s journey is not over when the veteran comes home. The invisible wounds of trauma demand that veterans launch a whole new battle as they return to civilian life. This conflict can be as deadly as combat and also have devastating effects on a societal level. The statistic that one veteran kills himself every 65 minutes bears this out. At Hearts and Horses for Heroes, they have developed ways to not only contain the spread of trauma, but to transform it into post traumatic growth.
“When I started at Hearts and Horses over a year ago, I already loved to ride and hoped that I would bond with the horse I was paired with. What came as a surprise was how much I would grow from riding with fellow veterans. In an attempt to distance myself from who I had to be in combat, I had avoided spending time with veterans for several years. The Horses for Heroes Program helped to remind me that I am not alone, and when I unite with my fellow sisters and brothers in arms, we are unstoppable”.
Watch this video about the Hearts and Horses for Heroes program: