Military Programs

Military Programs

For more than four thousand years, horses have been an integral part of warfare. Today, horses are still playing an important role in war, this time in the recovery of military veterans who have suffered emotional and/or physical injuries. Clinical evidence and generations of human experience show that horses have a special ability to help people work through emotional barriers without shame or stigma.

Pal-O-Mine uses EAGALA Model Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP). This model is increasingly being used to treat veterans and their families who suffer from the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), such as anger, depression, anxiety, nightmares, irritability, addiction, and other debilitating conditions. In addition, EAP is effective in assisting veterans and their families dealing with traumatic brain injury.

EAP utilizes the strengths of the experiential model of learning already implemented by the military in training soldiers for combat. This approach has a tremendous impact on maintaining the psychological health and enhancing the resilience and ensuring the recovery of service members and their families. The benefits of this experiential modality include:

  • EAP sessions are action, not talk. The principals of healthy transitions are practically applied and practiced.
  • Veterans overcome barriers of care by challenging themselves in activities with horses which removes much of the stigma associated with traditional talk therapy treatment methods.
  • Participation in activities with horses makes this treatment modality more interesting and appealing, therefore, increasing the probability of having a greater impact. Horses respond to nonverbal communication which removes cultural barriers.

Pal-O-Mine Equestrian offers programs to the following
through subsidized grant funding:

• Veterans from Vietnam, Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan
• Soldiers who fought in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn, and Operation Enduring Freedom
• 9-11 and First Responders
• Family members of any military veteran

“For someone in the military like me, it’s hard to swallow my pride and ask for help. This was a safe environment to open up in. Sometimes the horses talked for me and helped show me the path to save my marriage.”