PIPE CREEK, Texas - An orientation is scheduled for veterans of any era who suffer from mental health issues and their families to introduce them to a new program called Horsepower Project for Veterans.
It's being funded by the Texas Veterans Commission to reach those whose wounds are not visible to humans, but are to animals.
The bond between wounded warriors and horses has been well documented at Triple H Equitherapy in Pipe Creek. Keisha Laughy runs the certified therapy program.
"They learn how to get the horses past the anxiety which in turn helps them deal with their own anxiety," said Laughy.
Curt Oswald, a airborne officer, is a wheelchair-bound veteran who has internal and external injuries.
"The motor control center of my brain was damaged. I tell people that the hardware's fine but the software is messed up," said Oswald.
His therapist weighs about 2,000 pounds. Her name is Daisy, one of Triple H Equitherapy's certified therapy horses.
"I can't drive because of my injuries, it's very nice to get out there and do that and know that I'm fine," he said.
Another Air Force and Army veteran at the 180 acre facility on lesson day is Tiffany Vance who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. Vance just started learning about horses after she was released from the military.
"I have a much easier time around animals than I do with most people, so the bonding I get with her by being around her has given me the opportunity to come out of my shell," Vance said.
The new program is special because it not only addresses the needs of the veterans, but also the families. After each lesson, all involved in the session will enjoy a meal and social time together.
The orientation is Saturday, Sept. 6 at 11 a.m. Veterans who are already involved in the Horsepower Project will conduct the session.
The interactive program will have an experienced Licensed Professional Psychotherapist, a certified equine therapy instructor and therapy horses on site.
For more information, contact Ginger Eways at firstname.lastname@example.org or Keisha Laughy at Keisha@triple-h.org. You may also call 830-510-9515.
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