It is an in the moment experience with nature
It is the intent of Veterans and Equines Together to reduce veteran suicides by using Equine Assisted Therapy. Equine assisted therapy is a very powerful method of putting horse and human together to reduce the effects of trauma. With its innovative approach, Project HOPE, the core program of Veterans and Equines Together, accomplishes this.
Horses are prey animals and hyper-vigilant, as are our veterans. When a human is in close proximity to a horse, the horse will know the human’s intentions. This is the crux and power of equine assisted therapy. Unlike ‘talk therapy,’ there is no behavior or emotion that can be hidden from the horse. The horse becomes a mirror, reflecting the human’s intent. Project HOPE, and Psychotherapy Services, uses these interactions as the basis for its equine sessions.
Through the sessions, Project Hope has helped many veterans begin to see negative patterns in their behaviors, which helps them to gain valuable insights about themselves and their traumas. This is accomplished because the sessions are designed to reflect real life issues associated with anger and other strong emotions, to set goals around making positive choices, and to explore healthier solutions to life’s challenges
Expansion is a measure of success, and Project HOPE has demonstrated this success by its ever-increasing individual and community collaborations. Examples are increased veteran and family session participations, veterans and families returning for continuing sessions, and local organizations joining our efforts.
We have had Memo's of understandings and working agreements with the following organizations:
Our main location in Novato, Ca., it is nestled in the hills with an arena in the canyon and a picnic area and clubhouse on a knoll.
We are pleased to be collaborating with Diamond Equine Services and provide equine assisted therapy sessions weekly.
Pat and Michael Duffy welcome veterans to their location weekly.
West Marin, located at Point Reyes National Seashore.
"I have attended many veteran programs; they get it here at Project H.O.P.E."
"My husband of 32 years is a Vietnam veteran whose PTSD was diagnosed in 2005. The years before his diagnosis were challenging as neither of us could understand some of the symptoms. Project HOPE has been a huge benefit to me. Being with horses who are sensitive to what we bring to the activity has been eye opening...in terms of understanding hyper-vigilance. Engaging in activities with trained personnel has given me some lessons that I will never forget. I have been able to hug the horses, these huge animals that weigh so much. And I could lead a horse around a 'mock-up of my home' in the flatlands of Oakland, and own that I have a happy home. That is a memory and realization that no money can buy."
"Being at the ranch and interacting with the horses makes me feel normal again."
"As a wife of a Vietnam veteran, we found our communication improving. My husband started sharing his deep seated thoughts after we participated in just one session".
We are a 501(c)3 organization EIN #83-3632994
All donations are tax deductible