MUST NOT MISS–ESPN's Tom Rinaldi Tells the Inspiring Story of the Saratoga WarHorse Program

Warrior and Warhorse from The Seventh Movement on Vimeo.

Saratoga Springs, N.Y., famous for its historic racetrack, is among the most idyllic places in America. But on a recent fall weekend, not far from the track, horses were serving a different mission: retired thoroughbreds were recruited to help returning veterans at Song Hill Farm. A group from the US Army 2nd Battalion, 135th infantry, united in grief over the death of a fellow solider, gathered for the first time in five years to be part of Saratoga Warhorse, a three-day program that pairs veterans with horses. Tom Rinaldi reports the emotional story of the veterans, paired with their horses, undergoing a rebirth of trust and taking a first step toward healing.

Watch it all, and, yes, you will likely need kleenex–KSH.


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3 comments on “MUST NOT MISS–ESPN's Tom Rinaldi Tells the Inspiring Story of the Saratoga WarHorse Program

  1. St. Nikao says:

    War takes a huge toll on men and women. Those who do not come back with bullet or bomb wounds may have inner wounds that need attention.

    Over 170,000 returning soldiers have been diagnosed with PTSD.

    Suicide has become epidemic even when these warriors come home.

    There is help. The Welcome Home Initiative is a retreat that brings God’s healing power to those inner wounds and has been attended by veterans from every war and every branch of service, both US and UK personnel, active and retired.

    More information:

  2. montanan says:

    Wow – thank you for posting this, Dr. Harmon. I’ve never understood the human-equine bond, but it really hits some. There is a local program for developmentally disabled kids with horses – the bond is perplexing, but undeniable. The horses reach the kids in that program in ways I will never understand. And then, of course, there is [url=][i]this[/i][/url] ranch for abused horses working with abused children.

    The ugly, awful parts of war and the horrible wounds so many are returning with (many not physical or visible wounds) are also providing opportunities for the Church and some non-religious organizations to do works of compassion and active love. Praise God for those who are being the hands and feet of Jesus to these soldiers!

  3. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) says:

    The human-equine connection is beautifully illustrated in Linda Kohanov’s “The Tao of Equus” and her other books.

    Thoroughbreds and other former racehorses are “used” for the healing of combat veterans, as therapy for special needs children; and many off-track thoroughbred farms are run by low-security prison inmates, which also gives both humans and horses an unbreakable bond, and provides a unique skill set and job training for the former.

    Thus, contrary to some beliefs, thoroughbreds are not “crazy”, “scary”, or out-of-control; instead they are sensitive, smart, and beautiful animals who enrich our world.

    One of my friends runs a retraining facility for OTTB’s. Whenever possible, please give generously to such operations, and/or reputable equine rescues; it helps keep these fantastic guys and girls out of the inhumane, disgusting slaughterhouse.

    For a fantastic, yet poignant discourse on the challenges faced by combat veterans, especially recent ones, check out Brian Castner’s “The Long Walk”…it moved my spouse to tears and he said that he believes this is the closest anyone has ever come to describing the experiences and the aftermath in surviving and coming home.

    More fun–check out the beautiful, rare white thoroughbred “Arctic”, who plays “Silver” in the new Lone Ranger movie coming out, I believe, 7/3/13–this guy is REALLY smart…

    Dr. Harmon, thank you for the wonderful Saratoga video…and prayers that the knee is better every day… 🙂