In April, 2015, STRIDES was awardeda grant to provide Equestrian Psychotherapy, Learning and Personal Development programs to military veterans and their families. This grant was funded by Elizabeth Shatner's All Glory Foundation in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity.
Although that grant has expired, sessions for active and non active military are currently being held in Shadow Hills, CA at Moonshadow Ranch, home of Special Spirit.
You may be wondering why horse activities have proven to be so effective in helping service members and their families strengthen resilience and coping skills.
Research informs us that military families face significant challenges as they are fighting to maintain family stability in the face of transition, change, and uncertainty.Parents, children, siblings, and spouses all cope with these challenges in different ways.
Research shows that using horses to facilitate personal growth and development, strengthens coping and communication skills leading to greater resilience, and a more satisfying family life.
Most people ask us why horses are used, and how the process works.
Horses are prey animals, and are always on high alert for predators or enemies.This makes them highly attuned to their environment. They are able to sense changes in the blood pressure and heart rate of humans and other animals as well as being very sensitive to body language and non verbal cues.Horses react and respond to these cues in the moment. The way the horse reacts provides participants with immediate feedback about what they are presenting to others via their body language, eye contact, and other non verbal cues, and gives them clues about how others react or respond to them.
Challenges are set up in the arena that mirror the challenges participants express are happening in their own lives.The horses are used to assist participants in finding solutions to challenges.
You do not need to have any experience with horses In order to participate.All sessions take place on the ground, and the horses are not ridden.
For more information about equestrian activities, and to schedule a session, please click here.