Veterans’ Therapeutic Riding

Hope and Healing for Veterans

We are grateful to the men and women who have served our country.

Equine-assisted therapy has been helpful to many veterans recovering from the extreme conditions of military service.

Coyote Hill’s Veterans Riding Program

The Veterans Riding Program helps our country’s heroes experience:

  • Less Anger & Aggression
  • Decreased Social Anxiety
  • Fewer Nightmares
  • Improved Sleep
  • Improved Self-Esteem
  • Improved Confidence
  • Improved Concentration

How Coyote Hill Helped Me

I joined the naval academy in 1964; then graduated and entered the Marine Corps because I wanted to fly. In 1972 I went to Vietnam and flew 100 combat missions. I knew there was something wrong when I came back home, but wasn’t sure what it was. Veterans often take three different methods to deal with their internal wounds when they return. Some become a workaholic, like I did, some look to self-medication as their way out, and others just drop out and cease to function. But you cannot outrun it or ignore it. 

I had chosen to ride Cinnamon during my first session out here, and worked with her on my second session. On the day that I was supposed to come for a third session, I was having a really rough day. I woke up terribly depressed and didn’t want to go anywhere, but I went out to Coyote Hill anyway. I got Cinnamon from the pasture and brought her into a stall to curry her. I had only been with her those few moments, but when I bent over to get the brush from the bucket and stood back up, she put her head on my shoulder and nickered a bit. She had already sensed in that short amount of time that I was down in the dumps. She did that two or three more times while I was grooming her. It was her way of giving me a hug.

PTSD can take many forms. All of us who participate in Coyote Hill’s program have some type of invisible wounds. This is the opportunity for us, on our own, to build a relationship and function and be encouraged to do it. Larry and the staff have been incredible. When we arrive at Coyote Hill – it’s an entirely new game, where we can simply relax and reconnect with ourselves.

David Hammer

If you or a veteran you know is suffering from the invisible wounds of military service, please reach out for help

Contact Larry McDaniel, Founder & CEO. Larry is trained in Trauma-Focused EAP using the Natural Lifemanship model.

Contact the Recreational Therapy Department at Harry S Truman Memorial Veteran’s Hospital: (573) 814-6000 ext. 53646, or contact your primary care provider and request a consult for the Coyote Hill riding program.

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