The Veterans Program is very dear to fulfilling Living Hope's mission. Tammi Wilson's father served in the US Air Force and she grew up with an understanding of the unique needs of veterans and a passion to give back to those that have served our country. Tammi admits that as a non-veteran she is a bit of an outsider, but her mission is to provide a safe and supportive place where the veterans can help each other.
According to research, many veterans avoid traditional psychiatric treatments due to mistrust, previous ineffective treatments, fear of stigma from a diagnosis, or other barriers, but many are open to nontraditional therapies such as equine assisted therapy. Horses give the veterans motivation, healthy competition, and a mutual interest to bond over.
The heart of the Veteran's Program is our weekly lessons. Riders come in at levels, skilled riders who have grown up around horses to brand new riders that have never been around horses before. All are welcome, encouraged, and create individualized goals with Coach Tammi. While the Veteran's group lessons are held Monday and weekly participation is optimal, less frequent or occasional participation is available.
Weekly Veterans' Lunch
Our Veterans' group plans weekly lunches to help support each other, build community, and grow friendships. Lunches are typically held on Monday, and are open to current, former, potential, and occasional riders. We understand that life can be busy, and want to offer a welcome and regular opportunity for veterans to come together in fellowship.
Our Veteran's Program is proud to be able to send our riders to various horse shows throughout the year, many with classes dedicated to disabled military veterans. Our veterans have taken home world championship trophies, blue ribbons, high-point awards, and more. Some of the shows we have participated in include NSBA World Show, Appaloosa World Show, Dalworth ApHC Show, Chisholm Challenge Horse Show, and Poco Vista home show.
Interview with Texas Today
Our own Kendra B. sits down with Kristin Dickerson
Texas Today came out and talked with Kendra, a Navy veteran, who participates in our veterans program. She shares what equine therapy and the veterans program at Living Hope means to her. Thank you Kendra for your service and all you do to support our vision.
Watch the full interview: How Equine Therapy Helps Veterans