Thursday, December 17, 2020

What Is A Trauma Informed Horsemanship Program?

A trauma informed horsemanship program:

1. Recognizes the impact past trauma can have on a riding student's efforts to learn to ride.
2. Recognizes the role that horses can play in helping people reduce the effects of past trauma.
3. Recognizes that, as a prey animal, a horse responds to outside stimuli as does a person  with PTSD.
4. Recognizes that establishing a relationship of trust with a horse can be the gateway to learning to       
    establish a relationship of trust with another human. 
5. Recognizes that learning to control a horse though humane, effective leadership and communication
    can help erase feelings of helplessness often experienced by those who have experienced significant
6. Recognizes that understanding equine behavior can help people who have experienced significant  
    trauma understand their own behavior.

For over twenty years I have prosecuted crimes against children and sexual assault cases. Early in my career I encountered behaviors in victims that I often did not understand. After years of studying the impact that trauma can have on its victims, I am embarrassed at how ignorant I once was. 

If you share the ignorance I once had, but would like to open your mind, take a look at for a wonderful, eye opening, introduction that can help lead one to an understanding of trauma.  

For over seven years, prior to the impact of the virus, we conducted weekly sessions, weather permitting for those in the in-patient PTSD program at the Hampton Veterans Hospital. Over the years participants have often made it clear, in stark terms, to me exactly how much the program changed their lives. I am  looking forward to resuming to sessions when life returns to normal.

Our program is not limited to participants who have been significantly traumatized. I am  pleased with the opportunity that our program gives people to see the impact that the horses can have on those with PTSD. Those who are in the program who have never suffered significant trauma will be better parents, friends, and spouses because of the understanding that they have gained from observation and participation.

We are a non-profit with no paid staff. We teach riding, natural horsemanship,  heritage breed conservation, preservation and promotion of nearly extinct strains of Colonial Spanish horses, soil and water conservation, microbial farming, Americana and Roots music, and wild life habitat preservation.

And we help people learn how to ride horses out of Hell. 

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