The "Language" of Horses
According to Vietnam War veteran and founder of Saratoga War Horse, Bob Nevins, there are many similarities between the "challenges of a returning soldier who is faced with transitioning from military to civilian life", and "racehorses who are pushed to their absolute limit only to find their careers at an end". Pairing the two displaced individuals (human and equine) and finding a "connection" can be a life changing experience.
Saratoge War Horse extends an open invitation to veterans to participate in their 3 day program. All costs for transportation, lodging, food and tuition for the veterans attending the program are covered. Six veterans at a time are educated on horse safety, horse psychology, and then paired with a retired racehorse. Together, the veterans will build a round pen and then inside the pen that they helped to build, they will build a relationship with their equine partner; learning and understanding the "language" of horses.
Horses emanate peace and tranquility. Horses don't ask prying questions, delve into a soldier's psyche, or offer advice. They non verbally offer acceptance. And Trust. It's "An experience that has the ability to shift a person's perspective and possibly change their life ... providing a natural release for the inner turmoil the veteran population is left to deal with."
Although Bob Nevins insists that his is not a rehabilitation program or actual therapy, and he's not there to "fix" anyone; there seems to be plenty of evidence that connecting with an animal who, like the returning soldier, is perplexed and distrustful about his current circumstances and perhaps facing an uncertain future, can create a bond that heals and inspires hope for better things to come.
For more information click http://saratogawarhorse.com/