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God Smacked Jesus Freak
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I am doing some research and brainstorming on using animals to help train and also "pre-therapy-ize" soldiers. The Army has come to the camp where I work asking to make this connection and develop and use this resource for training. There is already huge use of horse therapy in my area for veterans. I am in the unique perspective of working with them coming and going as it were, and I think...will the circle be unbroken? Can something that is used to train (in not necessarily "horse" things) also provide a bridge for healing later on?

I think it is possible!

If any vets here would like to help me out, I want to make up a questionare about the role of using animals to train and provide that bridge. PM me if you are interested, it would all be confidential and anonymous of course. Give me a couple weeks to make up the questionare and run it by a boss first etc.

If you want to discuss it here, go for it :D The army already did a trial day with the camp to observe the soldiers interplay with the horses and the wrangler staff and everyone had a great positive day. I'd love to know what you think of the merit of this off the top of your head.

Training discussed is Biofeedback, Communication(Team and with non-English speakers), Body language and Crowd(Herd) reading, SAR and basic horse handling, Training for the Crash(horses are big intimidating animals for those not used to them, also the old tuck n roll).

All animals of course would be used under supervision of horse professionals and their safety and well being would be paramount at all times.

My personal idea underlying all of this, is there something about the animal human relationship that can make a better survival bridge for the heart going through hell and coming back alive?

I can say it happened to me, def. It was not something that was taught to me in an obvious way, it came through working with horses, by osmosis as it were. IE, the human animal relationship is part of our evolution, we are wired to relate. We respect that wiring, it helps us survive.
 
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God Smacked Jesus Freak
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Discussion Starter #3
thank you AK :D ! yes, there is a lot of this around where I'm at. The (seemingly?) new thing is that the Army wants to develop a program for new recruits using horses. If anyone has links for this sort of thing it would be appreciated too.
 

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I calls em like I sees em
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Everything old is new again! The govt used to own more horses and mules than anybody. Just read recently that the 10th mountain division (WW II era) had over 5000 mules because there were no vehicles that could come close to their abilities in rugged terrain.

The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a human. Good luck with this project, I don't have any bright ideas but it sure sounds worthwhile.
 
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Can something that is used to train (in not necessarily "horse" things) also provide a bridge for healing later on?
You better believe they can! A lot of animals can absolutely sense when someone needs help, and they usually try to help. I've seen it with a variety of animals - horses, goats, cats, dogs, even pigs. I've also read and been told of those animals responding to a vet who is suffering from PTSD, walking up to him or her, nudging them and helping that vet to learn how to deal with it. The really funny - not funny ha ha, but funny strange - is that none of these animals were trained to do that, they simply responded to a need in the person. Yet, so many people say that animals are stupid.

ETA: If you are really serious about pursuing this, I would respectfully suggest you start with goats. It has been my experience that they are much more in tune with peoples emotions than horses. Almost all of my goats know when I've had a bad day, whereas the horses don't really care as long as they get fed.
 

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I used to volunteer with a horse group that helped handicapped children. It was very rewarding. Just amazing to see the progression of passive children coming out of their shell along with gaining balance and a mastery over their body.

I think just about any animal can help with rehabilitation, but think horses are out of the realm of most people's thoughts due to their size, cost of upkeep and logistics of keeping them. You see this being done with dogs in prisons.

My best to you on this project.
 

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thank you AK :D ! yes, there is a lot of this around where I'm at. The (seemingly?) new thing is that the Army wants to develop a program for new recruits using horses. If anyone has links for this sort of thing it would be appreciated too.
it is just to cover budget cuts. LOL
 

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God Smacked Jesus Freak
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Discussion Starter #9
thank you for the responses! so this training for newbies with horses is going forward, it's in the brainstorming stage right now. I'm really blessed to be a part of this.

Gosh those kids are so young!
 

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WT, hit me up on FB, I should be able to get you all the respondents you need for your questionnaire.
 

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thank you for the responses! so this training for newbies with horses is going forward, it's in the brainstorming stage right now. I'm really blessed to be a part of this.

Gosh those kids are so young!
...........My guess is this experience is going to be a life changing event for you , personally , as well . , fordy
 
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