ABOUT HORSES SPIRITS HEALING

A BOND THAT BRINGS HEALING

Ask anyone who’s spent time on a horse. There’s an intimate and undeniable bond that develops between the horse and the rider.

Human, horse, bond — the ability to heal follows.

Out of the hundreds of thousands of American military veterans, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that upwards of 30% of those who’ve served in combat suffer post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.1

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that approximately 3.8 million veterans live each day of their lives with a “service-connected” disability.2

VA hospitals and other veteran aid services do their best to provide veterans the care they need — but the needs are challenging, deep, and still being researched for better treatments.

TOO OFTEN, VETERANS STRUGGLE THROUGH THE PAIN, HOPELESS AND FRUSTRATED.

Many withdraw. They find it hard to trust others. They feel isolated and alone.

This can lead to destructive behaviors like lashing out in anger at the ones they love the most. Some experience long bouts of depression… to the point of doing themselves harm.

But something miraculous happens when a veteran and a horse bond through equine therapy sessions.

A bond is formed. Trust grows. Confidence increases. Something within the spirit of the vet rises as hope comes alive.

There is healing.

Horses Spirits Healing, Inc. (HSHI) is a nonprofit organization funded by the generosity of local individual and corporate donors to help disabled veterans find the ability to heal through equine therapy.

With the backing of veteran-honoring donors, equine therapists partner with military veterans suffering from psychological trauma and physical disabilities. The HSHI program is structured to offer all veterans the opportunity to connect with horses regardless of their experience.

Some veterans may find it calming to simply groom a horse, while others may enjoy the horse’s gentle gait or rehabilitate through physical activities like moving hay bales.

It is the simple, non-judgmental interaction between veteran and horse that helps alleviate wounds, both seen and unseen.

OUR STAFF

AMANDA OTT

Program Director/Lead Instructor

Bachelors-Therapeutic Horse-Riding Instruction and Psychology. She is a certified instructor through PATH International, is CPR, First Aid, and AED certified.

MICALA HOLLINGER

Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Bachelors- Therapeutic Horse-Riding Instruction and Training and Equitation and a minor in Psychology She is a certified instructor through PATH International, is CPR, First Aid, and AED certified.

DEBRAN ANDERSEN

Therapeutic Riding
B.S. Human Services, M.S. Mental Health. She is a certified instructor through PATH International, is CPR, First Aid and AED certified.

THE HERD

Bella the Arabian

Dip the Fjord

Buggsy the Morgan Horse

Lulu the Mini

Mastercard the Pony

Taylor the Canadian Warmblood

Chief

Rakush the Appaloosa/Quarter Horse

Tyra the Draft

Wasp the Quarter Horse

Milkshake the Quarter Horse

THE BOARD

Barbara B. Skelton

 COFOUNDER

Barbara holds honorary doctorates from RMC and MSU-N, serves on numerous civic boards and commissions and consults on energy issues. She has over 50 years of equine experience, is an owner of IEC and co-founder of HSHI.

Paul Gatzemeier

PRESIDENT + COFOUNDER
Paul is a retired energy executive with development, operations and board experience. He currently serves on several corporate and civic boards and commissions, has equine experience and is an owner of IEC and co-founder of HSHI.

Robert S. Crandall

SECRETARY
Robert, Staff Sergeant, US Army-Retired disabled 1975. He performed design engineering in research for the Veterans Administration. He was Secretary of the US Quad Rugby Association and a founder of Warrior Wishes Montana.

David R. Nordel

AIR FORCE VETERAN RETIRED, RN EMERGENCY NURSE

David is the Emergency Management Manager for SCL Health in Montana. Chief Nordel held numerous leadership positions including the Command Chief Master Sergeant for Twentieth Air Force. He served in and supported overseas operations that include Spain, Turkey, England, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Colombia, Hungary, Japan, Guam and Iraq.

Dan Edelman, PhD, CPA

PHD, CPA

US Army military intelligence, disabled while deployed overseas. He is currently Chancellor, MSU Billings with academic, administrative and C-suite experience in both corporations and state universities.

Joan Grauman

COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER

A community volunteer with over 35 years experience with non-profit agencies related to human services for people with disabilities and their families. Her skills include family support and case management, grant writing & supervision, program & curriculum development, and special events & fundraising.

Chavis Nicholls

LCSW AND LAC

A Marine Corp Veteran who is an LCSW and LAC, providing private individual outpatient counseling and therapy for Confidential Counseling and Consultation, LLC. He served as the VA Behavioral Health Supervisor at the Billings VA Clinic where he initiated equine therapy for Veterans. Since his overseas combat deployments, Chavis has performed 15 years of evidence based therapeutic work with Veterans and youth.

Dawn Githens

TREASURER

Retired Air Force Colonel with 24 years experience. She led the Air Force Space Training School managing new course development and 40 instructors.

STATUS REPORT

At Horses Spirits Healing, Inc. we strive to keep our donors and the general public informed about the performance of our organization. Click on the link below to learn more about our future projects, collaborations, and sustainability plan.

HELP VETERANS FIND HEALING

Your gift helps ensure that every vet finds the ability to heal, no matter where they are in their healing journey