Ride UP, a program of riding and ground work with horses provides unique opportunities for Uniformed Professionals who serve our community to process experiences encountered at work. Therapeutic interactions with horses have been shown beneficial in cases of P.T.S.D., which can affect anyone engaged in dangerous, life threatening activities, such as Veterans, Police, Fire, and Rescue Personnel. Non-judgmental, welcoming group activities allow processing of life events in a safe environment.
According to the Department of Veteran's Affairs: PTSD is a mental health problem that can occur after someone goes through a traumatic event like war, assault, an accident or disaster. You don't need to be a veteran to suffer symptoms of PTSD. Service personnel must live with after-effects of work related trauma. 7 or 8 out of every 100 people (or 7-8% of the population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives. About 5.2 million adults have PTSD during any given year in the US.
A welcoming, non-judgmental group interaction provides the basis for growth and recovery with the help of our horses. Therapeutic interventions involving horses has been shown to ameliorate the symptoms of PTSD in service personnel. Twenty veterans and or uniformed professionals will be given the opportunity to work for a month with horses, either through ground training, driving, or riding. Mental health counseling and followup surveys of efficacy shall provide documentation of program results.
Today, more than 30 Veterans Affairs medical centers participate in horse therapy for service members and veterans with challenges ranging from mental and emotional to physical. As the benefits of horse therapy are recognized, BITS ETC hopes to extend the experience to veterans who have returned to our community, and others who might suffer from work related trauma...namely, our own community members in the fire, rescue and police departments; and always free of charge to the participant!
This project has provided additional documentation in a DOCX file (projdoc.docx).