Western Cross Ranch
Healing Our Heroes With Equine Assisted Learning
The horse has been recognized for being a loyal companion to the Cowboy and for good reason. It was mostly because of the need for success and survival. Over time, an undeniable spiritual connection between horses and people developed. It is a physical, mental and spiritual effect that is readily perceived and recognized by anyone who has had experiences with horses.
The Western Cross Ranch recognizes this reality and will use the horses in assistance with trained professionals for military veterans, active-duty military personnel, and the first responder community who have saved so many lives by their service. The suicide issues in these selfless men and women are alarming and not going away. Western Cross Ranch brings the horse to these individuals, families and groups together to facilitate healing. Horses can become partners and a vital part in a program that works for anyone, regardless of equine experience, and even have impactful results from the very first encounter.
For United States Military Veterans, upwards of
have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in a given year.
What Is Equine-Assisted Learning?
Equine-Assisted Learning (EAL) has been proven to help veterans and first responders when other treatments have failed to provide much needed relief.
Our heroes and their families suffer from depression, anxiety, fear, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), sexual trauma, substance abuse, relationship problems, adjustment to civilian life and many other such types of emotional struggles. Unfortunately, when all else seems to fail, and neither prescribed medication or self-prescribed medications don’t end their torment, desperation takes hold. That’s when suicide becomes an option.
This is why the EAL program is designed to help them take ownership of their healing, learn to reconnect with their families and provide them with the resilience tools to successfully reintegrate into society. Participants in Western Cross’s EAL program will come from all branches of the military, as well as our communities’ first responders, and from all walks of life and education: enlisted, officers, infantry, medical, special operations, truck drivers, lawyers, doctors, pilots, engineers, and administration. If you have any issues from your service, Western Cross Ranch wants to serve you with a program based on your needs.
Western Cross is proud to serve veterans of all eras, including Vietnam War veterans, as we believe you’re never too old to find healing. Western Cross is run by veterans for veterans and one of the founders is a Vietnam Veteran. We are devoted to helping younger veterans come home from war; to providing a healing path that the Vietnam Veterans never had when they came home from their war. We believe in the power of cross-generational healing. Helping Veterans to Help Veterans, help each other. After all, isn’t that what we did while part of our units?
Over 50% of veterans admit to suicidal thoughts at some point in their life.
Our EAL participants struggle with anxiety, depression, difficulty sleeping, anger, and guilt – all hallmark symptoms of PTSD. We hope many of our participants will be referred from either military or VA mental health professionals, from other non-profit organizations’ affiliations or – word of mouth from other participants or success stories of the Western Cross Ranch’s EAL program. After our team assesses their needs, we partner them with a Team member (who are primarily unpaid volunteers) who introduces them to a series of exercises designed to help them to learn to process their traumatic experiences, take ownership of their healing, and build the tools of resilience needed to reintegrate into society.
Western Cross Ranch strives to eliminate that final decision with a life saving alternative Equine Assisted Learning.