In early June, a group of Veterans receiving services from NECHV had the opportunity to visit Windrush Farm to participate in their equine therapy program Horsemanship for Heroes. NECHV Veterans were invited by the farm to participate in two group sessions and have recently been invited to arrange riding lessons as well in the coming months. Veteran 360 staff visited the farm this past October to learn about equine therapy and meet the horses, and we are very thankful that we could bring this wonderful therapy to the Veterans. Veterans and staff visited the farm twice in June.
Equine therapy has been shown to help reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem and confidence, as well as provide physical benefits, such as improved muscle tone, increased range of motion, and better coordination. During NECHV’s visit, Veterans came alive when interacting with the horses, and displayed joy and exuberance. Veterans enthusiastically learned to read the horses’ body language, lead the horses, brush them, and pet them while developing emotional connections with them. The trip also gave Veterans the opportunity to connect with one another as a community. The trip was coordinated with the assistance of Dick George and Dick Kelly from the 101st Airborne Division/Screaming Eagles.