LIFESAVERS INC wrote -Wounded veterans participate in our Wild Horse Warrior Boot Camp to learn how to gentle wild mustangs. The process of gaining the horses’ trust increases insight and behavior change in the veteran as well as the horse. The relationship between horse and human, created through our wild horse gentling techniques and camp fire sharing, encourages healing of physical, emotional and spiritual trauma and inspires building a “new” intimacy with loved ones at home.
This unique equine healing program brings veterans coming home from deployment with physical, mental and emotional wounds to our rescue ranch for four days to find healing in the act of gentling wild horses. As the wild mustangs become gentled by the Warriors, the Warriors themselves also become “gentled”, finding new purpose and gaining insight into how trauma creates overwhelming fear and sadness which, in turn, creates anger.
Through the gentling and ground training activities, horses and human began to build honest communication, understanding and a relationship based on respect and trust. Each moment during this process, the clients began to reveal themselves in a safe manner, observing their own behavior, and receiving direct and immediate feedback while connecting with another living being. The self-discovery individuals experienced with a horse provided them with more knowledge and accountability often times too threatening to explore even with a therapist. Because of the experiential aspect of our programs, changes in behavior and increased insight often arise quickly and have a lasting transferable effect.
Working with horses, asks the participant to be congruent in thoughts and actions, creating mind and body integration. Our sessions are supervised by trained horse clinicians with a therapist present. Each day consists of process groups exploring how these new insights and behaviors can re-build family relationships and re-cover the confidence needed for employment.