Saratoga is known for horse racing – the track is legendary. But tucked away, beyond the track, is a farm that’s using Off The Track Thoroughbreds (OTTB) to help veterans adjust to life after military service.
The program is free. As their website says:
“Saratoga WarHorse creates a win-win situation for veterans and off-the-track Thoroughbreds by providing an effective alternative method for healing emotional wounds and offering the horses rewarding and meaningful work after their racing careers have ended.”
The program teaches veterans to communicate with the horses, whose calm and honest personalities help the servicemen and women overcome post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), fear, trust issues and other invisible scars of war.
"There's a lot of pain that these veterans have to find a way to let go of and this seems to be a very effective method," Bob Nevins, the Founder of Saratoga War Horse, told CBS news. He is a Vietnam veteran himself, so he understands what they are going through. In fact, he experienced it firsthand himself.
In the same report, one veteran commented on the experience:
"Whatever emotions I had, whatever I was feeling, at that time inside the ring, I was able to leave it there. I passed through the gate and I felt that I didn't have to carry it anymore.”
Watch this CBS6 news video to see the work in action:
This is such an incredible program for our honored veterans. Anyone who has been around a horse understands the amazing power they have over our emotions. These retired racehorses are getting a chance to do something truly special – the chance to save someone’s life and rehabilitate their soul.
You can help them with their mission by donating on their website.