When the army started the Horses Helping Heroes project at Fort Meyer in my home state of Virginia, I was thrilled. I grew up riding at Great Falls Horse Center which had one of the first therapeutic riding programs in the country hosted there. I have been around TR for my whole horse life, and I eventually become a NARHA certified teacher after I washed out of social work proper. My Mom volunteers, too. And she told me about the great program for vets which utilized other service personnel as volunteers and the beautiful caisson horses as the four footed therapists. Of course, like all good therapeutic horsemanship, it quickly worked its magic.
I have been telling the folks at Forward Stride where I currently volunteer about the programs since I first heard of it. Well, I just heard from their Executive Director that they will be one of the next 12 sites to develop a program:
From the site:
Project healing Horse
raises money and promotes therapeutic riding to heal our wounded veterans. At facilities across the country, we honor those who have given so much and we share our love of horses.
Watch our film. Learn about this exciting therapy and how you can help by making a donation.
Totally watch the film!!!!
And, it turns out the gys who produced the film and are working to advance the availability of this program nationally are FROM OREGON (at least that is where the program address is):
Life-long friends George and Don own a company that bakes cookies for horses. Many say they bake the finest horse cookies in the world. It’s not a hugely profitable business. And, although not getting rich, they did discover the wonderful world of horses and the wonderful people who ride and love these magnificent animals. They also discovered the magical bond that exists between horse and rider. They then became national sponsors of a disabled children’s therapeutic riding organization.
While at a therapeutic riding center in Woodside, California, they marveled as a young wounded veteran, who walked with great difficulty, mounted a horse and began riding slowly, then faster and faster, until together they flew around the arena, the veteran beaming from ear to ear. George and Don wanted to share this experience with the world. Thus began Project Healing Horse.
They produced their movie and created this website to promote and raise money for veterans therapeutic riding programs across the country. They hope you will watch. Learn. And donate. And, the next time you visit your local tack store, consider purchasing a bag of Joker’s Treats Horse Cookies™.