Warriors and Horses
Alatheia Therapeutic Riding Center’s Veterans Program is a multi-faceted program designed to meet the needs of Veterans and their families seeking alternative therapeutic services to support civilian life adjustments, including mental health, personal growth, and development.
We partner with horses in this work due to their nature as social and prey animals. They have an extraordinary ability to read our nonverbal communication – noticing messages we are sending of which we are not always aware. With this, they start responding to us in ways that may remind us of other people and circumstances in our lives. Their actions and they themselves become metaphors (symbols) for other things in our lives (relationships, thoughts, and behaviors) and give us the opportunity to work on ourselves in relation to those things.
Horses do not know our past, education, gender, race, biases or other labels we may apply to ourselves and others. They exist in the moment; their reactions are inherently honest. This gives even more value in the insight they can provide to us.
As a service to our Veteran Community, Alatheia charges NO FEE for participation in equine assisted services. Each session’s value is paid for by donations from individual and corporate sponsors, as well as grants from local, regional, and national foundations.
The Warriors & Horses program offers three options to Veterans.
Warriors & Horses EAGALA:
Alatheia’s mental health services utilize the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) model of Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy. Services are provided in a non-clinical environment and are experiential in nature; they are not talk therapy. Co-facilitated by a licensed Mental Health Professional and an Equine Specialist, Veterans engage with horses on the ground in ways that help them examine their world and experiences through an externalized, metaphorical lens. The observations and interactions with the horses drive discoveries that can lead to real, lasting, and positive change. We believe each participant has the inherent ability to discover their own best solutions when given the opportunity. Using this model, Veterans have found relief from anxiety, depression, and other PTSD symptoms.
ATRC’s Mental Health Services consist of 8 weekly, non-riding, private sessions offered year-round in our enclosed arena. Veteran family members are welcome to participate as appropriate.
To apply, please click here.
Warriors & Horses Horsemanship Clinics:
The Warriors & Horses Horsemanship Program offers a workshop for veterans providing a hands-on group experience with Alatheia’s Norwegian Fjord horses. Up to six veterans participate in a group 3-hour session that includes learning about horse behavior, safe handling, groundwork, and riding. This program empowers veterans and can help them build trust, respect, community, and confidence. For some, this may lead to further participation in other Alatheia programs.
In addition to technical horse skills, the Horsemanship program may include an Equine Assisted Learning workshop, a non-riding personal development program. This workshop uses ground-based activities partnered with the horses to lead impactful group discussions. These activities harness the horse-human connection to help participants examine their beliefs, habits, and actions in a powerful way.
ATRC’s Warriors & Horsemanship workshops occur in 3-hr blocks twice per quarter. To add your name to a workshop or to sign a group up, please send an inquiry to email@example.com
Warriors & Horsemanship Immersion:
The Warriors & Horses Immersion program provides longer and sustained opportunities for horsemanship, riding, and volunteering in other ATRC programs. A three-hour immersion in work and recreation at Alatheia once a week provides an ongoing “place to land” for Veterans looking for engagement and comradery. Participants help train and condition horses for our adaptive and therapeutic riding program for people with disabilities, facility maintenance activities, horsemanship, and volunteering with the therapeutic adaptive riding program. Participation in the Immersion program is by invitation only.
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