“Military people in general are taught to complete the mission, no matter the cost …We learned at Pony Power that no matter how strong you are you need to ask for help sometimes.” – Bergen County Marine
We recently received grant funds to underwrite programming for veterans this spring. The $4,000 grant awarded by the Professional Association for Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International Equine Services for Heroes initiative allows us to continue providing services for the Veterans Administration-Lyons Campus and local veterans.
We designed a curriculum for veterans that focuses on life and vocational skills building. The offering is part of our Pony Assisted Life Skills (PALS) Program. During these sessions, participants take part in nonriding, goal-oriented activities with horses such as catching and haltering a horse; working together to lead a horse through obstacles; grooming; and observing herd (horse) behavior.
Horses offer immediate and spontaneous feedback and are sensitive to nonverbal communication, and horses respond immediately to messages that individuals give them. Through their interactions with horses, participants not only become more aware of how they communicate with others but they begin to recognize the consequences of their actions and choices.
Activities are also designed to teach horsemanship skills, which incorporate the routine and scheduling needed to maintain a healthy herd. Experiencing the natural environment of the horse farm also allows participants to “be present” and live “in-the-moment” and enjoy genuine relaxation and stress relief.
All area veterans are eligible to participate in programming. Call Pony Power to get started: (201) 934-1001.