â€œPartner with horses to return our veterans to the life they fought to protect.â€?
Amanda Thompson Techincal Sergeant
2011Amanda Thompson, with 15 years of continuous service to the US Air Force haspartnered with Riverbend Equine to create the H.O.O.V.E.S. program. The H.O.O.V.E.S. program has been partnering horses and veterans and experiential workshops that review where each individual is blocked. Using the latest in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) incorporates horses experientially for emotional growth and learning. It is a collaborative effort between a licensed therapist and a horse professional working with the clients and horses to address treatment goals. During this workshop each veteran has the opportunity to see how to get past trauma in the behavior of the horses. The instant and lasting results have far exceeded any expectations. Since the first time I watched this healing take place I have undoubtedly committed my life to bring this healing to as many servicemen and women as possible. Our board, which consists of mostly program graduates will stop at nothing to take this program and itâ€™s healing to the national level! 1
Veterans Creed I mastered the weapons, tools, and techniques of war and security and I make no apology for this proficiency. I became a leader by my willingness to both serve and subordinate myself -to my superiors, the mission, and the needs of my team. Foremost among first responders, I earned the ribbons of a volunteer, endeavorer, defender, warrior, rescuer, problem-solver, and model citizen. I am the visible conscience of a nation with regard to the costs of war and freedomâ€™s true price. I do not fail to support another vet who crosses my path with any need, large or small; he or she may have wounds or hardships that few others would understand. I am part of the eternal flame of memory, of my brother and sister veterans who died in service to our country. Honor, courage, and commitment define me to this day. I maintain my readiness, health, and fitness in order to serve again, should my community or nation call. In all of the remaining moments of my life, I will be a steadfast guardian of American ideals, freedoms, and history. I am a one-percenter of the noblest order. I am ... an American veteran. 2
EAP Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy
Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) incorporates horses experientially for emotional growth and learning. It is a collaborative effort between a licensed therapist and a horse professional working with the clients and horses to address treatment goals. Because of its intensity and effectiveness, it is considered a short-term or “brief” approach. EAP is experiential in nature. This means that participants learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with the horses and then processing (or discussing) feelings, behaviors, and patterns. Activities are “hands on”; lectures and long conversations are reduced to a minimum. Insights and changes in behavior do not necessarily occur by talking, but rather through the interaction with the animals. This approach has been compared to the ropes courses used by therapists, treatment facilities and human development courses around the world. EAP, however, has the added advantage of utilizing horses ... dynamic and powerful living
Healing of Our Veterans Equine Services
foundation of the hooves program is built on the idea that there is no limit that a person can achieve. After running this program for six years, I can say with confidence that everyone leaves with exactly what they needed that day. What veterans are consistently saying about this program is that it never feels like their in therapy. While everyone is welcome to share in a judgment free zone, its never reaquired. People still leave with the same benefits.
Horses Healing Veterans
have the innate ability to read our subconscious projections through our body language and a unique way of mirroring that back to us in a way we clearly understand. During a workshop, it is my job as a facilitator to take each individual on a journey of self discovery. We someone describes the horses behavior they are describing what they see in themselves. when they come up with a plan on how they will help the horse. They are really giving themselves the key to their own healing. They say that everything that happens during a session is for a specific reason, it is up to the veteran to find out what that is through out the day. The reality of why this programs works is because each individual is able to make immediate changes and see instant feedback on what works and what doesnâ€™t, what this means is that shifts are instantaneous and permeant.
The Magic of Hooves There are many Equine
programs out there. But what makes this programs unique is my own personal journey out of the darkness of PTSD, depression and Anxiety. I have learned several coaching techniques outside of the arena that allowed me to overcome all of my emotional trauma. Putting the two together has resulted in a healing that I never imagined possible. 6
â€œAs an Army Combat Infantry
Veteran of both wars, "feelings" was always a four letter word. Had to shut them off to do our job. So for a long time I dehumanized everyone so I could be a more effective killer, as was my job In the Infantry.(not dark just truth) After attending the HOOVES workshop, by the way was one of my first times even coming close to a horse in a long time. I felt and instant connection with the horses. One was even laying on the ground and put her head in my lap. I "felt" for the first time in a very long time, that I belonged to something bigger than myself. It was almost spiritual in a sense.â€?
SGT. Nicolai, Matthew A. US Army Infantry Ret.
Veterans Testimony I
enjoyed some of the exercises with the horses .. Being in a relaxed environment and being around other vets and being able to talk and share some of our stories and struggles.â€?
GySgt. Kendall ,Charles US Marien Core
SSgt.McConnell, Sean US Army
I got to say from the very first time I looked the horse in the eye I was working with and I felt the horse was afraid I didn’t know that she was mirroring me. Sounds somewhat silly, but when I first started the program the main thing on my mind was I didn’t want to harm her or the others so I was holding back. As I worked with her and still keep going back to work with other horses I find each time unique because each time I see something, I feel something. Walking along side them. It is something that is not easy to describe but it helps me relax and feel more connected. Thank You HOOVES!”
You Can Make A Difference! H.O.O.V.E.S.
The equine assisted military transition model and hands on growth training program using rescue horses and professional horse facilities in partnership with concerned and supportive individuals and sponsors. This program serves both veterans and their families. Help us by donating today.