Equine-assisted psychotherapy helping local veterans

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 3:41 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - An Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy program here in Reno helps local veterans and first responders heal and work through trauma.

Horsemanship 4 Heroes was started by two army veterans, Karolyn and Scott, that noticed that the horses greatly helped reduce anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and depression.

There are two sessions in the program, both 8 weeks. Participants first learn the basics of horsemanship: communication and caring for the horse. The second session expands on communication with introduction to riding.

Both founders of the program see the human-horse bond benefiting not only participants. but also, themselves.

Karolyn Hooper says, “It’s fantastic how the numbers at the end of the session just go from you know high in anxiety to low anxiety and it’s all because of the power of these beings.”

Her husband Scott even sees this helping him as he works with participants:

“I may not be showing it. I may be smiling outside, but on the inside I’m all over the map. The horse is going to know, and they are going to communicate to me, and they will feel it and that causes me to need to check myself. To ground myself,” says Scott.