Horse therapy ranch looks to expand services for veterans

Horse therapy ranch looks to expand services for veterans
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Trinity Circle Horses Healing Hearts,” an equine therapy ranch in Neosho, Missouri applies for its first grant to expand its work with veterans battling PTSD.

The non-profit group is touching lives, one ride at a time…

It’s a love story as old as time, and for this odd couple… “His name is Romeo and I figured he needed a Juliet...” It really was love at first sight.

“When I first come down, I didn’t know what to think, you know, because I never was around horses a lot…and this fella right here, old Romeo, you know, he got me. So when I got to loving on him, I thought, ‘Oh, this is nice,'” explained Charles Arnce, a Vietnam Veteran who served in the navy.

Romeo is one of 50 horses at the Healing Hearts Ranch, trained to relieve trauma, especially PTSD.

“I can come out here with Romeo and he understands what I’m trying to tell him. He’s trying to get close now, and he just helps me out, talkin to him, being with him,” said Arnce.

All of the horses here are rescues, dealing with trauma of their own, empathizing with human pain.

“I think they and the people that come out both understand that they’ve both been through a trauma of some kind and they have their own secret language. They can talk to each other without talking,” said Lynn Clark, an army veteran.

“To come back to the civilian life where it’s not as structured and you’re just left to you own devices, you know, it’s a process of finding where to fit in and what to do,” explained Kevin Sharpe, a Marine Corps veteran who volunteers at Healing Hearts Ranch.

Dawn Newlan believes in the power of equine therapy, especially after losing her own husband to suicide after his battle with PTSD. It’s why she’s looking to expand services through a grant with the VA Health Administration.

“There are very few places like ours that actually incorporate the horses and the therapists and we have both on the ranch and available to our veterans,” said Newlan.

She hopes to invest in specialized equipment for disabled veterans and eventually create an obstacle course, but Arnce only has eyes for Romeo.

“It’s a beautiful horse and he sure takes a lot off my mind.”

The ranch is operated solely on donations and the help of volunteers.

Horse therapy ranch looks to expand services for veterans Horse therapy ranch looks to expand services for veterans