Our Vision: Bringing hope, joy and unlimited possibilities through the healing power of the horse

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Sponsor a Therapy Horse/Mustang

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Who We Serve

Children & Adults

Military Veterans & Families

Our Services

Veterans

The largest horse program in the nation for military veterans offering extensive equine programs at no cost to the veteran and one member of his/her family/caregiver. Services offered to veterans include: riding, ground activities and working with mustangs.

Therapy Services

Physical, Occupational and Speech therapy is provided using hippotherapy (the movement of the horse) as a treatment strategy by a licensed therapist. Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, is implemented by a licensed social worker or psychologist. These goals are therapy focused to meet the prescribed needs for the participant.

Therapeutic Riding

An adaptive recreational service taught by a PATH International certified instructor teaching horsemanship and riding skills to individuals with various diagnoses.

Service Benefits

Veteran Services

Equine services for veterans include emotional, cognitive, social and physical benefits. Veterans at BraveHearts have reported benefits including: increased self-esteem, decreased depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder attacks and self-inflicting thoughts. As veterans increase their horsemanship and involvement with BraveHearts additional opportunities including clinics with world-renowned horsemen. Trail rides and horse shows are available for veterans to participate in as well. Veteran services are provided at no cost to all military veterans along with one family member or caregiver.

Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy

Hippotherapy as a treatment strategy utilizes equine movement as part of an integrated treatment plan and is implemented by a licensed physical, occupational or speech therapist who is an American Hippotherapy Assciation, Inc. Member Therapist or Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist. Horses provide multidimensional movement, assisting in increased trunk strength, control and balance. Benefits include increased range of motion, strength, balance, postural control, endurance, fine motor control and sensory integration as well as improved communication in those with communication disorders. BraveHearts also has a fully equipped outpatient clinic for individuals interested in clinic-only services. Physical, occupational and speech therapy may be billed through insurance. Individuals must be 3 years or older to be on horseback while individuals under 3 years of age can be seen in the clinic.

Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)

EAP incorporates unmounted and mounted activities using therapy horses to help participants of all ages. Participants explore what therapy horses can help teach them about their own lives to help process thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that facilitate emotional healing. This approach can be beneficial for individuals with various diagnoses including, but not limited to: anxiety disorders, autism, childhood neglect/abuse, conduct disorder, depression, grief, and loss, eating disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder. Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy is provided by a licensed social worker and/or Psy.D. Insurance may be billed as psychotherapy services.

Therapeutic Riding

In addition to increasing horsemanship and riding skills, therapeutic riding provides emotional, cognitive, social and physical benefits. Participants must be 4 years old to participate. As a recreational service, this is not covered under insurance and is taught by a PATH Intl. certified instructor.

Helpful Links

Learn how we started, our FAQ's & annual reviews

Learn more about our team's qualifications and expertise

Calendar for our participants, donors & volunteers

Information for Current & New Volunteers

Testimonials

“Being a member of the BraveHearts family is a life changing experience. All of us get so much more in return than we could ever possibly give.”

Kathy Allegretti, Board Member

“Working with the Mustangs has been a rejuvenating of my mind, body, and soul. As a result of this interaction I have no longer needed a significant amount of pharmaceuticals. I have regained my sobriety and for the first time since the military I have thought about what the next 20 years of my life have in store for my family and I. Operation Mustangs has forever changed me and I am forever grateful.”

Mitchell Reno, US Army Veteran

“I thank God for this place and for you people.”

Parent of Participant Parent Therapeutic Riding Participant

“I am so grateful to have my husband back and to feel like a family again. I can not help but think of all the spouses and children around the country that could be helped from this great program. My husband has always meant the world to me and it is only because of Operation Mustang that he has truly come home. Thank you so much for all you have done for my family.”

-Veteran’s Wife Veterans Program, BraveHearts

“The horses give him a motivation that traditional therapy had not been able to do and we have tried almost everything. And Jack rarely gets aggravated anymore when presented with a new task because movement is no longer as difficult for him and Jack wants to be there. Since beginning here with the horses, Jack is able to stand with assistance because he has better core control and keeps his head aligned and no longer extends backwards.”

Outpatient Clinic Parent of a Hippotherapy Participant

“The round pen work changed me forever. Something broke inside me and gave me the chance to open myself up to horses and slowly to others.”

Participant

“One of the most beneficial donations I can make.”

Donor

“To say Winkie is a rockstar is such an understatement! In the midst of tack changes and rider changes, being surrounded by people and horses he had never met before and excitement that was overflowing at times, he was steady and responsive – doing his job with poise and majesty – helping each and every one of his riders strive for their very individual, very personal best. I had to choke back tears from time to time as I watched one rider after the next thrill with smiles and squeals of happiness and self-esteem…”

Ardie Willoughby Volunteer

“It is such a blessing to get to see Gods plan from the front row.”

Meggan Hill-McQueeney President/COO, BraveHearts

“I have learned so much from you and Paddy, and I know my leadership and confidence has really grown, and I look forward to each and every time I set foot in the barn. I look forward to another wonderful year.”

Karen Smith Volunteer

“Even a bad day at BraveHearts is better than a good day working anywhere else!”

Terese Klinger, Occupational Therapist BraveHearts

Operation Mustang

WREX Part 1

Veterans

WREX Part 3

Our Impact – 2016

Total Participants Served
1038
Total Sessions Provided
18999
Total Veteran Sessions Provided
12962
Hours Donated by Volunteers
35017

Thank you to all of the photographers who have donated their time, talents and artwork to BraveHearts. 
Tricia Lee Carzoli, Carrie Dodt Art, Dr. Rolf Gunnar, Jennifer Hazlewood, Peggy Judd, Karen Marie Kerns, Lisa McQueeneyLiving Images by Carol Walker , Laurel Obee Photography, Diane Schrader Photography, Smits Photography & Design