StableStrides, Health and Healing Through Horses
StableStrides is honored to announce it has received a grant from the Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF) for $8,000 which will partially fund therapeutic services provided to Veterans with physical disabilities and mental health conditions. Brittany Williams, Interim Executive Director of StableStrides said, “This funding will support our efforts to bring health and healing to area Veterans. With this population being so near and dear to our hearts in the Pikes Peak Region, we are proud to count the Disabled Veterans National Foundation as a partner in changing lives through the power of a horse.”
Each year, StableStrides provides more than 2,000 therapeutic sessions to veterans, active duty service members, and military spouses and dependents. Services provided help each client overcome the challenges they are facing and build the skills needed to be resilient, positively navigate future challenges, and thrive.
At StableStrides, we believe horses and the therapy they provide is an essential solution to strong and healthy individuals, families, and communities. For this reason, we partner with area health agencies and military hospitals to ensure veterans needing our services have the opportunity to benefit from everything horses can teach us.
A combination of evidence-based practices and theories are utilized in conjunction with the therapy horse as means of helping our nation’s heroes overcome their invisible wounds in StableStrides’ Equine Assisted Therapy program. Equine Assisted Therapy assists veterans with post-traumatic stress symptoms by processing and facilitating the reconnection between thoughts and feelings and, more specifically, learning to approach rather than avoid emotions and uncomfortable situations. This therapeutic process uses experiential learning and is solutions-focused meaning veterans are challenged to find solutions to problems in a timely and effective manner using the horse as a medium; learning is then applied and translated into everyday life. Veterans develop an awareness of their impact on the environment and make adjustments to produce the desired outcome.
After only his third Equine Assisted Therapy session at StableStrides, one veteran felt compelled to let go of a very heavy reminder from his past. For over 10 years this veteran had kept a large mangled piece of metal as a reminder. The piece of mangled mental was a broken piston from a vehicle that was used as an I.E.D. in Iraq…and an attack in which he was in charge of cleaning up the aftermath. After learning how horses are able to let go of the past and live in the present, this veteran decided he too was ready to live in the present and decided to leave the mangled metal reminder he’d carried for so long with the StableStrides team for good.
We may never know the weight of the burdens this veteran and many others carry for so long. At StableStrides, we are honored to be a part of veterans’ healing journeys with horses.
Learn more and join the StableStrides family today at www.stablestrides.org.