For the past seven years, Equus Medendi has focused this innovative program on our Military/Veterans Community in order to provide alternative and effective options to traditional types of therapies. Spouses and children of Veterans are also eligible for this service at no cost.
All sessions are led by an Equine Specialist, a Mental Health Professional, one or more horses and are ground based (no riding) The program consists of an orientation and 6 weekly small group or individual sessions which meet for 1 to 2 hours each depending on the needs of the group or the individual. The initial sessions include learning how to communicate and interact with the horse while increasing self-awareness of one’s own emotional state, body language and how one relates to others. The next sessions build on these new skills and will increase focus on the participants individual and unique struggles and challenges.
Most of our participants have had little or no prior exposure to horses and are often doubtful about what they can accomplish with them. However, by the end of our program, our clients have long overcome their initial fears; they have bonded with one or more horses, feel good about what they have achieved as an individual and as a group and typically experience a clinically measurable reduction of troublesome symptoms. Follow up group meetings are held every couple of months and give participants a chance to come back and visit.
This EAGALA certified program is supported and endorsed by the California Department of Veterans Affairs. San Bernardino County Department of Veterans Affairs, the Riverside County Department of Veterans Services, Christian Counseling Services, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Stater Brothers Charities, the William A. Betterley Western Heritage Foundation, numerous local businesses and many incredibly generous private donors and friends. Because of their support, no Veteran has ever had to pay to participate.