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Taking Action. Making Connections. Changing Lives.

Veteran Feedback

graduates-mike

Mike


“I was a little cynical when we first started; what kind of connection am I going to have with a horse? I felt it when that horse was walking up on me, that I had really made a connection and it’s like a light goes on and you feel a little warmth with that horse, you don’t want to let it go. I didn’t want to get out of the ring.


It’s something that only people that have been through it are going to be able to explain to another person that has done it.


This gives people somebody to reach out to, not only the connection with the horses but the connection with the other people in the classes.


You are just a little bit of a different person now then you were before you walked in the round pen, ‘because I know I can make a connection with a noble animal like that and to have the animal make a connection and want to be your friend…’ It’s hard to explain… but it is really a warm feeling.”

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Trevor


“Whiskey (the horse) had opened inside me an emotion I had never felt before. He told me, in that five minutes in the round pen, that even though we didn’t trust each other in the beginning, that we were not only connected — we were united.


I stood in the middle of the round pen and rubbed Whiskey between the eyes and pet his neck lovingly. With tears in my eyes I realized that I wasn’t petting a horse, I was talking with my friend. We talked, completely non-verbally, about how much we trusted each other.


You learn something new about yourself. It’s just amazing, indescribable. I couldn’t really explain how I felt, except that it was one of the greatest days of my life. It’s empowering.”

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Judith


“I used to tell people that I felt a little detached, but I didn’t really feel that detachment until my connection, so now I am more aware and I am actually more about enjoying life. I used to keep people more at a distance…I feel like I am more present in the moment than I have been in a long, long time.”

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Michael


“When you finally make that connection, when you actually turn your back and that horse comes over to you and approaches you, because he wants to, you really feel like I’ve done something amazing. And I think it really felt like I opened up a door. I had an apprehension, I had a comfort zone I stepped out of, I went through with it and there was a good positive outcome.


If you haven’t done it, then I don’t think you’re really going to understand.”

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Chris


“Reflecting on my visit to Saratoga WarHorse…I am in control of my life not this PTSD crap… Some unfortunate things have happened these past few years but now its time for greatness…I’m ready. To my shipmates and fellow vets…if you are tired of the darkness and tired of the long sleepless nights…go to saratogawarhorse.com. I can’t really explain what exactly happens when you have your “Connection” with one of these beautiful animals…but I left a lot of baggage in that pen. Good luck to you all and I hope you find the peace that was gifted to me…thank you Whiskey…that was my horse, you guys know I’m a vodka man.”

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Brad


“I’ve been through two painful divorces. I’ve made two attempts at suicide. I have PTSD. I enlisted in the Marine Corps when I was eighteen. When I got out, I still wanted to do more for my country so I enlisted in the Air Force and became an Aircraft Maintenance Officer. I served in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm with the 1st Fighter Wing and continued to serve around the world until I retired in 2003 after 21 years of service.


PTSD is sneaky, one day you’re fine and the next you’re lost. But finally, the path is making some sense. I’ve learned that the healing comes from the inside and the journey never ends. Several months ago, at the end of one of those lost days, I came across a You Tube video about Saratoga WarHorse. I called Bob Nevins and an hour later he offered me the opportunity to experience the program first-hand.


On a cold January day, I found myself in a 50-foot round pen with 1200 pounds of whirling racehorse. I was breathing hard with intensity and excitement at the same time. The horse’s snorting mirrored my thumping heartbeat. I moved my horse as I’d been instructed and was surprised to find I felt a familiarity, like being back in the military and tasked with a mission.


The big chestnut horse began to respond to my body cues and we moved together around the pen. When I slowed to a walk, he followed suit. I felt as if time was standing still. We were rhythmically breathing together and when I slowly turned my shoulder, he came to me. Our connection felt powerful and intimate. Deep down in my soul, I know the connection I made that day, with a warrior in his own right, has changed my life.”


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