Since 2007, BraveHearts has been a nationally recognized program for providing equine therapy to veterans from the northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin areas. We are the largest program in the country for veterans offering equine activity and therapies. In 2014, we served 380 individual veterans and provided 2,748 sessions for veterans.
BraveHearts offers a variety of programs to veterans free of charge, including:
As a PATH Intl. premier-accredited center, BraveHearts is a leading representative of Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT).
The benefits of EAAT include:
The movement of the horse’s gait at a walk is similar to a human’s walking motion. The horse’s simulated gait can assist wounded military/veterans to strengthen specific muscle groups, which may ultimately aid the participant as he or she relearns how to walk or use prostheses.
The farm provides a safe and peaceful environment for wounded military and veterans to share issues and fears. They bond in a non-judgmental atmosphere with fellow veterans, the equines and volunteers.
Wounded military and veterans working with and around horses learn the proper sequence of completing tasks to ensure that the horses remain cooperative and responsive. Good judgment is needed in making decisions during activities around the horse and when riding or participating in other EAAT. The order and directions required to develop riding and driving skills are familiar strategies to veterans and wounded military personnel.
Bonding with a large animal can be emotionally satisfying and comforting. Wounded military and veterans have found a great deal of relief in the grooming of a horse. The repetitive motion proves soothing to individuals with anxiety issues.
Learning new skills such as riding or driving leads to increased self-confidence, which manifests into knowing more can be accomplished in their lives.
For more information about BraveHearts’ veterans programs, contact us at 815.943.8226.