A New Jersey-based non-profit organization uniting U.S. veterans suffering with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with horses has provided a solace to the men and women of service who found another battle field at home.
“Once we come home, the war's not really over,” veteran Andrew Haines, who served as an Army Calvary Scout, said in a video released by Upworthy. “You know, it’s very tough to deal with a lot of the issues we have and a lot of people, they just they can’t, they can’t deal with it… they can’t find a reason to live, you know, a passion and it just gets the best of them and they give up.”
But Spring Reins of Life is looking to change that.
The organization is working to promote “psychological healing, emotional well-being and personal growth using the skills of mental health professionals and the guided assistance of horses,” the organizations’ website notes.
“I know we all have our different coping mechanisms for dealing with our symptoms of PTSD and being out here, I don’t feel like a person with PTSD. I just feel, I guess average or normal,” U.S. Marine Corp. veteran Michael Otto Steiger said in a video from Upworthy.
The therapy teaches vets creative problem-solving and coping skills, co-founder Christianna Capra said.
“There’s no right or wrong answer out here, you know, were not teaching horsemanship,” she said.
“These horses know just what to do. Every session is different, every group is different," Capra said in the video. "These same horses react differently to every veteran. They somehow intuitively know exactly what is needed.”
Haines agree, saying he feels better with every equine interaction.
“It gives you a break from always thinking, always worrying, always living in the past,” Haines said, “It gives you a moment and a chance to live in the present.”
For more information on PTSD and the resources available to those suffering with the disorder, visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.