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Horses for Heroes

A Hero...Those of distinguished courage or ability admired for their brave deeds and noble qualities.

A calm peaceful barn and the down-home smell of fresh hay... birds chatter... kittens meow their greetings and horses nicker from stall to stall. Far from the chaos of a war zone or the bustle of the VA medical center, local Veterans participate in a non-traditional therapy program at STAR Equestrian Center Therapeutic Riding called Horses for Heroes.

Horses for Heroes is a program for both veterans, first responders, wounded service personnel and active duty military. The Program uses both mounted and un-mounted equine assisted activities to assist in physical and emotional healing. Horses are highly reactive and mimic human emotions requiring calm and non-reactive communications which promotes emotional awareness, emotion regulation, self-control, and impulse modulation. Working with horses in a therapeutic setting offers instant and constant feed-back to participants, requires physical strength and balance, and is highly motivational - combining to make an exceptionally effective rehabilitation environment.

Outdoors on our serene 145-acre farm with a team of encouraging volunteers, PATH International instructors, Equine Specialists in Mental Health, licensed mental health professionals and a supportive horse, self-control, self- esteem, self-confidence and independence grows. We strive to improve, emotionally empower and socially enhance the lives of veterans, first responders and active duty soldiers giving us an opportunity to serve those who have served us.

Horses for Heroes helps participants with challenges including:
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Amputation
  • Physical limitations due to combat injuries
Benefits include:
  • Normalized muscle tone
  • Improved Balance
  • Increased range of motion
  • Building confidence and self-esteem
  • Developing strength, coordination and fine/gross motor skills
  • Instilling patience and management skills
Currently we are serving participants in three programs. In our volunteer program veterans appreciate the opportunity to give back to their community and help others. We also offer therapeutic riding and equine facilitated emotional wellness programs.

Horses for Heroes Brochure
Horses for Heroes Photographs
Horses for Heroes Forms

For information on how to join the Horses for Heroes Program call the equestrian center at 301-791-6222.

Other Riding Programs

Program Overview
Equine Activities for Challenged Riders
Horseback Riding for All
Public Awareness and Education