Ex-Soldiers Find Equine Therapy Rewarding

Horseback ridingHorse therapy provides an outlet for individuals who served in the war. When soldiers return from service, some have a difficult time adjusting to a civilian lifestyle.

Furthermore, some war veterans suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Saddle Rock Ranch is a facility that offers an equine program for such individuals. One of the participants mentioned that horses in the facility could relate to him and provide comfort.

Even an individual that was just getting started with the program admits that the experience was very unique, and he understands how it can help people heal from their past.

Service Dog Helps Veteran Cope With PTSD

PTSD service dogFor Desert Storm veteran Dan Sperry, his labradoodle named Awescar is not just any dog, reports Samantha Wright of Boise Public Radio. Awescar is a specially-trained service dog that helps Dan cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which causes Dan to suffer from panic attacks, anxiety and debilitating headaches.

Awescar has been trained to recognize when Dan is in distress. His presence provides Dan with comfort when he is nervous or upset. In addition to emotional support, Awescar provides physical support, such as opening doors and acting as a brace when Dan is unsteady on his feet.

Like so many who suffer from PTSD, and are fortunate to have a service dog, Dan is extremely grateful for his four-legged companion. Awescar has made a world of difference in Dan’s life.

Read more: Service Dog: How A Labradoodle Is Helping One Idaho Veteran Cope With PTSD

Service Dogs For Veterans Controversy

Service dog badgeService dogs have proven to be invaluable in helping wounded soldiers cope with physical disabilities. However, there has been controversy regarding the effectiveness of service dogs assisting veterans cope with psychological wounds, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

While many veterans and service dog trainers strongly believe properly-trained dogs can provide invaluable assistance, the Department of Veterans Affairs has be reluctant to provide service dogs to those suffering from PTSD. As a result, veterans are having to explore other avenues, such as donations and fundraising, to acquire service dogs.