Most of us have fantasized of being a cowboy or cowgirl and galloping across the Wild West on our very own intelligent, quick, and obedient horse. Many of the old Westerns taught us that a horse could be a cowboy's best friend and that their connection was a partnership based on trust.
The premise for the increasingly well-liked equine therapy for soldiers healing from wounds, both physical and mental, is the truth of these fictitious films, which is that horses are honorable, practical, and excellent for the spirit. Equine Therapy in Victoria frequently offers horseback riding and training opportunities for veterans and their families. Hamer Equine Assisted Learning (H.E.A.L.) provides emotionally and physically secure horse experiences. We provide individuals the chance to examine any problems that they may be having or just to relax in the presence of the horses. to learn more about what we do.
What makes these initiatives so effective at aiding injured soldiers? The following list of seven benefits of horseback riding for veterans.
You are now. When you are riding, the outside world seems to vanish. You need to concentrate your efforts and use deliberate commands and body language. According to experts, horses can detect your emotional state. They can tell if you're feeling confident and will only respect you if you're confident in yourself. It encourages you to rediscover your own feeling of self-assurance in delegating authority and taking the lead. The horse will follow you when you do this.
It is quiet. The sounds of horseback riding are frequently calm and rhythmic, whether you are trotting in an arena or going on a trail ride. Your body moves in unison with the horse's movement as its hooves strike the ground and it breathes or whines. Loud, unexpected noises cause anxiety in many soldiers who are suffering from PTSD. Others merely want to get away from city life or the bustle of a military base. An odd whine or the wind blowing past while you trot can help you relax and feel at ease.
It's something brand-new and distinctive. Many veterans have never ridden a horse. The chance to learn something new and immediately satisfying can help people escape the drudgery of daily life, even if they are specialists in their military speciality or have previously led challenging missions. A novice rider can quickly pick up the methods and abilities necessary to become an effective horseman with the right mentor and an open mind. The animal merely waits for your command and, if it is delivered appropriately, will comply with it without any pressure or expectations on their part. These modest accomplishments can greatly contribute to regaining confidence and experiencing happy times.
It's tangible. The actions needed for equestrian riding involve the complete body, from saddling the horse to mounting, riding, and subsequently grooming. Although it seems easy enough, riding for a long time is surprisingly physically taxing; the next day, your back and leg muscles will feel it. This physical effort, mental focus, and emotional connection with the animal can give a soldier a mental reprieve from the constant worrying, anxiety, and hyperawareness that frequently accompany PTSD. Additionally, getting some fresh air is always good for the body and mind.
It's a new companion. Anyone who has served in the military for a significant amount of time is aware of the value of having a partner or "buddy" both during training and when serving on the front lines. When veterans leave the military, they can discover that component of civilian life is absent. Knowing that someone is looking out for you and striving for the same goal is a highly valued item in the military. Working with a horse over a period of weeks, as in equestrian therapy, offers a new partner relationship with another living being. You collaborate to achieve objectives, develop trust, and take care of one another.
You acquire fresh memories as a result. Veterans may be having trouble adjusting to civilian life as they try to overcome acute and vivid recollections from the battlefield. Replace them with fresh, happier events and memories, according to experts, to help reduce these anxiety-inducing recollections. Giving a veteran a new mental "place to go" in stressful situations, such visualizing their last ride over a tranquil field, might be a coping tool to help them get through a provoked feeling.
Simply put, it's enjoyable. You can't help but smile when you break into your first gallop, encourage your horse to run even faster, or perhaps even jump over an obstacle. The escape from daily life on the back of a good horse can help heal a war-weary mind and body and can give a veteran hope that they will once again experience the joy and happiness they hoped to return to after battle. Equine therapy has to be one of the most enjoyable types of therapy a person can engage in.