“I was injured in combat in 2009 when my back and neck were blown up. Between chronic pain and depression I didn’t get out of bed for almost four years. Working with horses in this program gives me the hope I need to keep trying every day.”

        “Before my VA doctor told me about this program I struggled so much with trust, anger, and paranoia (all symptoms of PTSD). It was hard to leave the house. I had racing thoughts. Horses don’t judge. Here I feel safe and able to focus. I am able to be mindful… present in the moment. My anxiety is less and this helps me in my world outside of horses.”

          “A person exposed to trauma learns to avoid relationships that appear unpredictable, expose vulnerability, or jeopardize safety. The only safety felt is when withdrawn into themselves. The crux is humans by nature need connections, it is in our DNA and can not be denied. Not only had I lost my ability to connect, I lost my courage. This is especially difficult when you were a soldier and others expect you to always be strong...After hitting an emotional wall in psychotherapy, I learned about Horses Spirits Healing. After surveying the herd at HSHI, I was introduced to Tyra. She’s a big ‘ol gal. She’s dark, aloof, and mysterious. Her presence is domineering yet generally courteous. She doesn’t even attempt to hide she’s in charge. She reminded me of someone. Mirroring isn’t always glorious. Yet, I could also see in her body language she was that safe place to land I was desperately seeking. Tyra instinctually knows when I’m suffering the most and have my walls up even before I get to the barn. This is when she chooses to push my boundaries like somebody chewing ice. Generally, Tyra will greet me, but on my bad days, she will stare at me from the farthest edges of the field. She will continuously nudge me and make me stumble. On a particularly difficult day, she moved away from the mounting block just as I went to lean on her. While I regained my footing, she slowly sauntered off, occasionally looking back at me. I’m certain she lovingly gave me the finger. Twice her antics have allowed me to cry, and once this happens, she appears to quit pushing. She gives me that needed hug in a way only a horse can. Tyra has taught me to feel safe with vulnerability, about safe touch, and to be courageous again. With Tyra, there is no hiding, and sometimes, mirroring is glorious.”