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Introducing VETS (Valiant Strides) – New 2024: Empowering Veterans and First Responders

We are excited to announce the launch of VETS (Valiant Strides), a groundbreaking program designed to support veterans and first responders. This innovative curriculum covers essential life skills such as leadership, trust, positive thinking, observation, self-regulation, and more. Each topic is taught through experiential education, allowing participants to create meaningful growth experiences.

Equine-assisted services have been shown to have a positive impact on veterans. Studies indicate that these programs can reduce symptoms of PTSD, improve emotional regulation, and enhance social skills. For instance, a study published in the “Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development” found that veterans who participated in equine-assisted therapy reported significant reductions in PTSD symptoms and improvements in coping strategies.

The VETS program offers several specialized courses:

  • 4-week Natural Horsemanship Curriculum: Private lessons for individual clients.
  • 4-week Group Curriculum: Ground programs for up to 10 participants.
  • 5-week Chronic Pain Curriculum: Focuses on patience and steadiness, helping participants manage moments of uncertainty and lack of control.

Our curriculum is tailored to address both external and internal assets. External assets include family support, personal empowerment, and constructive use of time. Internal assets focus on commitment to education, career development, positive values, social competencies, and a strong personal identity.

Targeted toward veterans and first responders, VETS collaborates with organizations such as Joining Forces (Monroe Co), Veterans Court, VA clinics, VA hospitals, and individual veteran sponsors. We aim to impact 20-25 participants, providing them with the tools they need to navigate everyday challenges and achieve their personal and professional goals.

Join us in this transformative journey and take your first step with Valiant Strides.

Sources:

Johnson, R. A., Albright, D. L., Marzolf, J. R., Bibbo, J. L., Yaglom, H. D., Crowder, S. M., … & Osterlind, S. (2018). Effects of therapeutic horseback riding on post-traumatic stress disorder in military veterans. Military Medical Research, 5(1), 3.

Lanning, B. A., Krenek, N., & Slane, S. (2017). Examining the effects of equine-assisted activities to help combat veterans improve quality of life. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, 54(1), 161-170.