Horse therapy for veterans sparks local charity startup

London, ON, Canada / 106.9 The X
Horse therapy for veterans sparks local charity startup

(Veterans pose with Equine therapy horses and trainers on final day of pilot project.)

Heartwood Equine Connections provides healing workshops for people who have suffered trauma who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it.

After running her own business providing one-on-one emotional therapy sessions with horses, Londoner Lynne St. Jacques sympathized with how many people needed the help but couldn’t afford it.

That’s what lead her to further develop her nonprofit business into a charitable program.

“Trauma happens to everybody and it’s accumulative. So there are many people out there walking around not dealing with the trauma because they don’t have the tools to do it. So we’re providing them the tools to have successful lives even though they have this burden,” she says.

St. Jacques hopes to market the service to Veterans Affairs, and recently launched a two day pilot project to gauge how London veterans would respond to the Equine therapy.

Working with the horses, the exercises were geared to help the participants stay focused on the present moment and get a break from their own thoughts.

Mike Newcombe is a retired veteran with the Canadian Armed Forces, and says the difference he saw in his friends blew him away.

“Before a couple of them wouldn’t go near a horse. But now they’re in the bay with the horses alone, and it’s amazing listening to their stories after just two days,” he says.

St. Jacques hopes to begin fundraising in Spring 2016, and to raise enough to begin workshops next Summer.

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