“Thinking what I want and getting the horse to do it was awesome”

“Both Blue and Durango are skittish horses. They had to learn to trust that I was going to be calm with them. I was willing to be patient and let them learn on their timing and not my agenda.”

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“Accomplishing the task I asked the horse puts you on a great high.”

“What I most experienced during this ATHENA Pilot was a building confidence in my capacity to handle a horse. I felt my confidence grow but only AFTER I witnessed the confidence of both Blue and Durango increase. They led my way.”

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“I feel I got better at asking questions to better myself with the techniques”

“referring to my ability to communicate with my horse. I actually felt a stronger bond with Blue than other horses I have actually ridden because I was a witness to how hard Blue was trying to do what I was asking him to do. Something completely novel for both of us.”

Communication Read More »

I enjoyed:

 “Learning new skills on ground and different conditioning of the horses”

“Good program. Thank you for the opportunity”

“learning all these new techniques and ways to work and bond with the horses is great”

I enjoyed: Read More »

Additional comments:

“This program taught me a lot with horses and I was able to use the skills I learned here with my own horses”

“opened up a whole new way at looking at the function and abilities of a horse.”

“The program brought a new appreciation toward a horse’s abilities and how vial it is to have patience and compassion for this uniqueness”

“ I realized and learned that by using this approach the horse engages different ways of thinking and using different muscles and by doing this they became better; it is amazing to see the horses transformation and we only worked with them once a week!”

“I would like to continue partnering with horses using the skills that I learned in the ATHENA pilot. I see tremendous potential for the growth of both the veterans and our horses. I very much would like to see the class double in size next September. The participants from the Pilot could act as Horse Handlers to assist the students. I also would like to test if the horses have indeed improved in temperament for the therapeutic riding classes.”

Volunteer comments:

“I really enjoyed this program. Not only was it teaching us knew skills and patience, it was helping the horses. That alone makes it a valuable program for vets. We all want to get help for our issues but disguising it per-say as help for the horses allows us to not feel as guilty or self-conscious about needing help. These horses do so much for all who come in contact with them, it was nice seeing what we could give back to them. This was honestly the best vets class I have ever participated in at ROCK. It was engaging week to week. Betsy is a great instructor who is patient and kind to the horses and vets. She doesn’t push herself into your space or just bark at you the whole time. She explains the why and the benefits of what you are doing to the horse. Even just being a volunteer for the class I learned so much where normally I am just standing around outside of the arena not interacting with the class.”

“I do hope you offer ROCK another program some time. I do believe it is an important program and would be very beneficial for many veterans who ride”

Additional comments: Read More »