We’ve been in the business of horse therapy for a number of years now, but we’re thrilled to see it making news all over the country as a very meaningful path of healing for so many people from all walks of life. We founded our retreat and wellness center as a place for one very special veteran in our lives to recover and find peace, and over our lifespan as an institution, veterans have been some of our most frequent guests. We were very happy to see some national coverage on CBS recently which showcases how horses are helping veterans recover from the trauma of war, particularly with PTSD and other residual disorders that we’re only beginning to understand from a medical perspective!
In the piece, the interviewer meets a retired Marine general who served several tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, and had troubles with temper when he returned home which led to a diagnosis of PTSD. It’s a common problem, as we’ve learned here at the ranch. This report said that at least 20% of returning troops will have PTSD, which is really an astonishing number, and definitely one of the underreported tragedies of wars we’ve been involved in for the past decade and a half.
The reporter visited a retreat very like ours in Colorado, which offers a range of horse therapy treatments and retreat opportunities specifically for soldiers. The head therapist says that the most important part of the program is to help the soldiers learn to let their guard down again after years of having to be tightly controlled in conflict zones. In fact, she says something that we’ve found as well at B&W, which is that riding horses is actually the least important thing you could be doing as a part of horse therapy. It’s about giving the soldiers and the horses an opportunity to build trust and reciprocity.