Equine Assisted Learning & Psychotherapy
Thank you for your donations. The War Horse Project is an equine-assisted psychotherapy program intended for Canadian Forces members, Veterans, First Responders and Corrections Officers who have been adversely affected by trauma. This program has provided lasting and measurable benefits not achieved with conventional therapies alone.

The Story behind the Picture The Story behind the Picture
Lilly and Dakota are having some early-morning fun running in the mud - preparing for their workday with the veterans.

Dear Fellow Canadian,

Like most Canadians, you’ve read in the newspaper, or heard first hand, stories about soldiers and first responders struggling with operational stress injuries (OSIs) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These stories capture the hearts of Canadians who want to help those who have served, and continue to serve, their country and its communities. Most of us don’t know how we can help, but a unique and effective program being run in Pembroke, Ontario, in the Ottawa Valley, is helping soldiers and first responders and needs your help.

The program is called the War Horse Project and was launched in July 2014 by Hope Reins Equine Assisted Therapy, which has been offering equine assisted therapy for children since 2011. The War Horse Project is a 16-week program that involves horses and provides carefully planned, participant-centred activities to help Canadian Forces members, veterans and first responders who are dealing with the after effects of trauma. A small and dedicated team of equine specialists and mental health professionals run the program, in which a safe environment to explore feelings, behaviours and strategies is created – and it all starts with a trusting relationship with a horse.

The results are promising. Anecdotal and preliminary evaluation data shows how the program is helping participants bond with the horses and re-connect with themselves and what this means in terms of their personal lives and relationships.

The cost to run the 16-week program for an average of 10 clients, at three hours a week, is $25,000 and up until now, no funding was available and was run with volunteer hours only! It took 400 volunteer hours to keep the program going in 2014. This is not sustainable over the long term. This year we are supported by a $25,000 grant from True Patriot Love, but we are still short $40,000 to fully fund this program for 32 veterans this year.

Here’s where you can help. Please donate whatever you can to support the War Horse Project. Every dollar helps and is appreciated. Receipts can be given for your donation! Please spread the news about the program through your personal and professional networks. Please volunteer. That’s three ways to help a soldier or first responder!

For more information, or to make a donation, please contact us at info@hopereinstherapy.com or call Alison Vandergragt, The War Horse Project Program Director at 613-585-1208. Find us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/HopeReinsEquineAssistedTherapyProgram.

Thank you for your support!

Alison Vandergragt, Program Director

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