Since 2007, BraveHearts has been nationally recognized for providing equine-assisted services to veterans primarily in the northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin areas and extends beyond the local community serving veterans nationwide. As the largest equine-assisted services program for veterans in the country, BraveHearts continues to strive to do more, reach more, and serve more. Our expansive and innovative recreational and therapy offerings provide veterans with multiple opportunities to experience healing horsemanship through riding, ground activities, and gentling wild mustangs with Operation Mustang™. In addition, our outpatient clinic provides Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) incorporating unmounted and mounted activities with a licensed social worker and/or psychologist who is on BraveHearts’ mental health team.
All services are offered at no cost to the veteran and one accompanying member of his/her family/caregiver. BraveHearts partners with local VAs, veteran service organizations, and local programs with a veteran serving mission to provide innovative recreational services using horses.
Equine services provide emotional, cognitive, social and physical benefits for veterans. Veterans at BraveHearts have reported benefits including: increased self-esteem, self-worth, trust for others and community integration and decreased depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder attacks and self-inflicting thoughts.
of vets have reduced anxiety and more confidence
of vets discover better mindfulness
of vets regain trust
Lessons operate on a quarterly schedule, allowing veterans to build on skills learned in previous weeks. Veterans are invited to participate in lessons up to two times weekly, at no cost. As veterans increase their horsemanship and involvement with BraveHearts additional opportunities including clinics with world-renowned horsemen, trail rides, drill team participation, retreats, foundation horsemanship, horse shows, traveling events and the opportunities to become certified instructors, are available for veterans to participate in.