Stormwalker Ranch is committed to partnering with our Nation’s Heroes as they make the transition from a life in the military to civilian life. The military does a great job in turning a young people into a Sailors, Airmen, Soldiers or Marines. Unfortunately, they fail to help our military personnel make the transition back from military life to their civilian lives. Every returning veteran needs assistance making the transition back into their families, their work, their communities and over 48% of our members of the military return home with some form of injury to which they are needing to make an adjustment.
The Stormwalker Ranch GRIT Program, Growing Relationships thru Intentional Transformation for Veterans is designed to partner with our returning veterans and help them make the transition back into civilian life. Working with horses requires partnership. Veterans participating in our programs are working through that which is necessary to build a partnership with their horse which forces them to regulate their energy and emotions. This partnership teaches them to walk, think and process with intention. Horses require our clients to communicate clearly. Through partnership and insights with the horse, we learn to build awareness of self and others, regulate our nervous systems, and learn how to be intentional in our actions and communication. These skills and characteristics are shown to improve life skills and our emotional intelligence. Riding may also be used in some sessions at the discretion of the equine professional, but it is not the primary focus of these sessions. When appropriate the team will bring in members of the clients community, family, friends and coworkers to work on tasks together as we process making transition into civilian life.
Eagala (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) an International Certification Body for Equine Therapy. Through the EAGALA method, we utilize a team approach, partnering a licensed Mental Health Professional with a qualified Equine Specialist, working together with horses and clients as equal partners in an experiential process that empowers life-changing outcomes. Offered for individuals and groups, sessions are done on the ground with the horse front and center, deliberately unhindered, and allowed to interact with the clients at will. This creates the space for the clients, with the support of professional facilitators, to reflect, project, and make deep connections. This form of psychotherapy is self-solution oriented. Many of our Veterans return home with trauma and traumatic brain injuries requiring more support than that which a certified equine specialist can provide in this instance the Mental Health Professional provides that additional support to help process through trauma.
It is the ranch’s goal to provide Equine Therapy, either GRIT or EAGALA, for up to 100 veterans per week. Many are able to navigate through the Veterans administration to utilize their benefits to cover the cost of the mental health professionals who are part of the EAGALA sessions. Unfortunately, the Veterans Administration does not cover the cost of the equine specialist or the equine partners needed for these sessions. We never want to turn one of our nations heroes away. The ranch’s hard cost per session is 50 USD. It is our goal to raise 100,000 to cover 25 of that 50 dollar session while our board of directors will meet the other 25 per session.
To Learn More check out each program or reach out to schedule an appointment or Tour
Our volunteers love horses and enjoy people, making for a fun and fulfilling time during lessons, camps, and/or special events.