Valor Equine Therapy Service, Inc., (VETS) is a Montana based 501(c)(3) not for profit corporation established to help veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Numerous studies have proven that the human-horse relationship facilitates the healing process associated with PTSD and/or TBI. Animals interact with humans in a variety of therapeutic forms, this interaction reduces human stress and increases mutual trust. The purpose of animal assisted therapy is to provide interventions that would not be possible with only a human provider. Horses provide an additional aspect of the therapeutic process that many other animals cannot. They are prey animals and; therefore they do not trust easily, demand respect to provide respect, and due to their size are not easily bullied or manipulated (Baugh, 2009). Horses also live by a set of rules that is based on the family system. They are herd animals and their survival depends upon communication and their relationship with the other herd members.
Horses read subtle changes in human body language, emotion, positive and negative energy, and basic intentions of others (Hallberg, 2008). Equine assisted psychotherapy utilizes the horse's responsive nature as a therapy tool and part of the therapy team's options for treatment. They are naturally curious, have individual personalities, and mirror human behavior (Toms, 2006).
Helping Heros Heal
The purpose of VETS is to establish a peaceful, serene atmosphere on a bucolic ranch situated in Northwestern Montana. This will enable the veteran to "get away from it all" and relax in a rural setting enjoying the benefits of a one-on-one relationship with a special horse.
Statistics show that horses calm the nerves, lower blood pressure and, in general, relieve stress. Our veterans will be under the watchful eyes of trained equine professionals.
Once the veterans arrive, their stay on the ranch will be provided free of charge through fundraisers, public donations and, if possible, Government grants.