Saratoga Warhorse: Off Track Thoroughbreds Help Veterans

8 Nov

Veterans day is coming up and as such, I wanted people to know about this great free service for all those veterans who have come home from war zones that there is healing help available for them via horses.  Horses used to be the center of people’s lives in America (and many other places around the world).  They helped build America by helping people settle America, grow their businesses, as transportation in their daily lives, fought in our wars and used as entertainment.  Could it be that most people these days have lost their way because there is no horse in their lives?

Saratoga WarHorse is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization assisting veterans who are suffering from invisible, psychological wounds by providing a confidential, peer-to-peer, action based, equine-assisted experience that initiates immediate and long-lasting empowering changes.

The problems facing veterans  such as suicide, divorce, drug and alcoholic abuse and other self-destructive behaviors is enormous for veterans returning from wars.  Bob Nevins was a medevac pilot in Vietnam and knew the mental problems veterans are facing.  He also is a horseman who knew firsthand the healing power a horse can offer. He knows their language and understood the trust horses can convey so he created Saratoga Warhorse.

“SARATOGA SPRINGS — Tucked away on a farm in Saratoga County, is a place that’s nothing short of a sanctuary. It’s where warriors from the track meet the nation’s warriors. The program is called Saratoga War Horse.

Saratoga War Horse uses horses, some that are off the track thoroughbreds, to help veterans who are dealing with the invisible scars of war.

The program teaches veterans from across the country how to communicate with a horse, an animal that so honestly mirrors the veteran’s energy and emotion. At the start, both are unsure and untrusting. But within minutes the horse realizes he’s understood that this person is speaking his language. The horse shows a sign of trust. Something about the horse’s acceptance transforms the veteran.

“Whatever emotions I had, whatever I was feeling, at that time inside the ring, I was able to leave it there. I passed through the gate and I felt that I didn’t have to carry it anymore,” said one veteran.

CBS6 watched as similar connections were made that day with three other veterans.
“There’s a lot of pain that these veterans have to find a way to let go of and this seems to be a very effective method,” said Bob Nevins, the Founder of Saratoga War Horse.

Nevins is a Vietnam Veteran himself. He watched a generation of service member’s battle depression, drug and alcohol abuse, and suicide.  Nevins said more needs to be done to help the next generation of veterans and stop the cycle in its tracks.

“The horse responds to that with a tremendous relief, ‘oh somebody understands me.’ And that’s what the veteran is actually saying at the same time, ‘oh someone understands me finally,'” said Nevins. “The transformation that takes place, you realize you may have just saved someone’s life.”

Nevins said the program doesn’t claim to be therapy.  It offers an experience that has helped veterans move forward with their lives.

He said that he looks forward to the day that science can explain exactly how these horses are able to help. Until then, he takes comfort in knowing lives are being impacted.”

Saratoga WarHorse, has been nominated for two Emmys! Off-Track Thoroughbreds are helping veterans who are suffering from PTSD.

Watch the documentary at: Saratoga Warhorse | HRTV.com.

If you or someone you know is a veteran who is struggling, please do not hesitate to contact Bob Nevins or Janelle Schmidt at:

bob@saratogawarhorse.com
orjanelle@saratogawarhorse.com

or write:

Saratoga WarHorse Foundation
P.O. Box 461
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
518.886.8131

Upcoming Classes:
November 16 – 18, 2014 Saratoga Springs, NY
November 18 – 20, 2014 Saratoga Springs, NY
December 7 – 9, 2014 Aiken, SC
December 9 – 11, 2014 Aiken, SC

visit Saratoga Warhorse webpage HERE

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One Response to “Saratoga Warhorse: Off Track Thoroughbreds Help Veterans”

  1. penylee56 November 10, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

    Reblogged this on penylee56 and commented:
    agree completely

    Like

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