My Favorite Veteran’s Story of the last Few Years–An ESPN piece on the Saratoga WarHorse Program

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.


Posted in America/U.S.A., Animals, Death / Burial / Funerals, Health & Medicine, History, Military / Armed Forces

One comment on “My Favorite Veteran’s Story of the last Few Years–An ESPN piece on the Saratoga WarHorse Program

  1. Robert Atkins says:

    Kendall: Thank you for sharing this wonderful program with us once again.

    The Saratoga Warhorse Connection Process is based on Monty Robert’s Join-Up method which he must have shared with hundreds if not thousands of horses world-wide.

    He runs a similar program for Vets at his farm in California, and I have been privileged to observe this on a couple of occasions. It is truly an inspiring experience.

    The join-up process is based on the natural tendencies of the horse. If you run a horse round a ring a few times, after about a 1/4 mile he will start looking for a leader, so if you position yourself correctly, he will come to you as that leader.

    The strange thing, however, is not that it works, but that often it doesn’t (at least not on the first attempt). Since they are using Monte’s own horses which have probably performed this connection many times before, its tempting to think that even if the Vet doesn’t know what he is doing, the horse does, and join-up should be almost automatic. But it isn’t.
    It’s as if the horse is saying I know my part, but you clearly don’t know yours, so I’m not going to play.

    So when join-up does happen, it is truly magical, and can be a tremendous boost to the Vets, who are often trying to regain the confidence in themselves which may have been lost in the traumas of their engagements.