Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation – Equine Experience (Bozeman, MT)
WQW will offer its first Equine Experience in October 2014. The EX will bring six wounded warriors and their spouses to Montana. This five-day program’s focus will be to provide couples the tools to successfully manage Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS).
Couples will come from across the U.S. to attend. Participants will spend time in learning sessions as well as working directly with horses. Horses help teach this workshop; participants don’t ride them, but work in a round pen with the animal…no saddles, halters or lunge lines. We will use an approach called Equine Experiential Learning, a safe and gentle approach to help people become more aware of patterns of behavior with PTS.
Horses are consummate facilitators in the work of human development. Their size alone inspires a heightened state of awareness. Horses are social animals that readily and honestly respond to the challenges in building a trusting relationship. As animals that are preyed upon in nature, they have a highly developed ability to sense changes in the stance, intent, and emotions of predators and other horses at a distance. Since people are predators, too, they easily transfer this sensing ability to human beings. Horses see through the times when we say one thing but are really thinking and feeling another. They do this by reflecting back what they see in the handler’s behavior; a very responsive biofeedback agent. Through working with a horse, participants will become more aware of how they relate to people. Individuals may discover some feelings that they never had before just by looking at a horse with a new set of glasses.
A tremendous boost in confidence comes from learning how to connect and then direct a thousand-pound animal through mental focus, creative visualization, and clarity of intent. These skills, which can be difficult to teach in a traditional training session, are fun to learn and have many applications in how we relate to people everyday. Schooled equestrians, novice riders, and people who have never been near a horse before can all benefit from this powerful work.
WQW provides transportation, accommodations, and meals. We even pay for the baby sitter back home if necessary. We also provide all equipment and learning materials needed for the event.
WQW intent is to take the healing and rehabilitation of wounded warriors to a new level. The tools we will provide couples will help them when they get home and the regular stress of day-to-day life kicks in. This is not couples therapy but rather a program of how to cope with the day-to day effects of PTS.
The EX schedule will be very similar to the FX and SX schedules. More detailed information will be posted as it becomes available.