When there isn’t a strong demand for retired race horses, they are sent to slaughter. It’s a sad reality that Jennifer McVoy just can’t live with, and many others are now seeing the benefits of what she is trying to do to save not only the horses, but veterans of war as well. She started ‘Heroes for Horses,’ and it has already helped many veterans to find themselves after coming home from war.
The horses are usually brought to the stables in rough shape. They have serious injuries and go through rehabilitation, and veterans are prescribed to spend time with the animals, helping them heal together.
The veterans are able to work with psychotherapists and get help for their PTSD, and the only thing that they have to worry about on the ranch is caring for the horses. Exercising, brushing, and bonding with the animals helps them to find themselves outside of battle.
It is a pilot program, at the moment, but a few veterans are sharing their experiences, hoping to find new veterans that might benefit from spending time with the animals.
Chuck Stefanich is a Vietnam War veteran, but hasn’t had an easy time adjusting after coming home decades ago. He has found solace in the company of the horses, and that is something that his life had been missing for all of these years. He hopes that the pilot program becomes more widespread. He knows that more veterans could start to heal if they were given the chance to bond with these incredible animals.