Why we chose to provide a mustangs and veterans program
Kelly Alexander served many years in the Army and the Army National Guard. His time in the service included multiple deployments. After coming home from his final deployment, it was apparent that he suffered from PTSD and a TBI. Kelly participated in every PTSD/TBI program that was offered through Veteran’s Affairs to include counselling, multiple medications, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Prolonged Exposure therapy, among other methodologies. He experienced much frustration with ineffective treatment plans. Kelly began searching beyond what the VA had to offer for PTSD treatments. He ultimately discovered a mustang and veteran program in Texas. It was there that he was able to find healing.
Veterans with PTSD/TBI have tension, anxiety, emotional numbing and distancing. Those symptoms interfere with interpersonal relationships as well as their ability to function at work and in their personal lives. Mustangs have also faced their own trauma of being torn from their families, their home environment, chased by helicopters and trapped in holding pens for immunizations and branding. The traumatized veteran and traumatized horse help each other. When veterans “gentle” the mustangs, these horses act as therapists to the veterans, and reciprocal healing occurs. By working with mustangs, Veterans can experience reduction in anxiety and emotional numbing, improved mastery of their fear responses, and reduction in hypervigilance in a natural learning environment. As the mustang begins to trust the veterans – The veteran begins to trust the horse and themselves.
There are very few Mustang/Veteran programs nationwide and especially programs that provide free lodging and although Kelly and his wife Karen ARE NOT therapists (Karen is a family healthcare provider), they wanted to make it their mission to give back to veterans in meaningful and healing way.
Typically we have funded the preparations and procurements for this program via Kelly's retirement, thankfully the program is at the point where we need your contributions as we move forward in fulfilling the need of veterans and first responders. As of today (January 16 2021) our first program is full and have received applications for a second and possibly a third program in 2021 or 2022. See EXAMPLES of how your contributions allow us to fulfill our mandate for veterans and first responders: (* indicates long term/permanent need)
*$ 4,000.00 = Private lodging for one attendee of each program session via "tiny cabin"
*$ 8,000.00 = Private lodging for two attendees of each program session via "tiny cabin"
*$ 25,900.00 = Small indoor training facility
$42.00 = Feeds one attendee for one week
We need an indoor training facility to allow us to continue sessions even in the winter! We need onsite lodging so we can serve vets and first responders from all over the US so that vets/first responders have free housing during the program. Donations also help pay for meals, horse adoption fees, learning materials, and more!
Please help us help vets, first responders and beautiful mustangs!
- Don and Lori Hanly
- Breanna Proudfit
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