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LTRC is proud to offer our Veterans' Program along with working with Project Odyssey® of the Wounded Warrior Project®

Veteran Groups Discover the Healing Power of the Horse at Lothlorien:  Lothlorien’s Way of the Warrior Program teaches emotional and mental balance using equine-facilitated learning.

Started in 2016, the program is a collaborative effort between LTRC and Nancy Proulx from Equine Essence using the therapeutic power of horses to help Veterans navigate the healing of emotional wounds.

Veterans from Project Odyssey®, offered by Wounded Warrior Project® and various other veteran and community groups throughout Western New York have benefitted from the program. The goal of the Way of the Warrior Program is to translate time spent with a horse into a meaningful, healing relationship that improves overall health.

Through an Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) approach, workshop attendees focus on a variety of one-on-one, hands-on activities with their horse partner, building a pathway to healing.  EFL requires no previous experience with horses and involves working on the ground with the horses and a facilitator in a safe setting.  EFL may or may not proceed to working on horseback.      

Participants learn about coping skills, building trust and improving overall mental health and well-being.  They discover tools that help them develop a level of emotional intelligence and agility and how to trust their bodies’ internal GPS.  The accepting nature and tolerant personality of the horse encourages participants to test the limits of their abilities and learn to make good choices in a safe, accepting environment. 

"Today I was able, with the help of the Lothlroien staff and volunters and my horse Julia, to experience emotional therapy! That beautiful horse was so gentle and patient with me, when she looked into my eyes it took everything in my being not to drop to my knees and cry! If that horse could talk I swear she was saying, “It's okay, I forgive you and I understand.  You’re safe." I don’t know if anyone will ever believe me but it doesn’t matter, I know what I saw, I know what I felt, and am still feeling! I have never felt compassion like that from anyone or anything until today! All I could do was tell her “Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!” That horse shook the core of my foundation, for the better! I am at a place in my life in search    of the next chapter! I think I may have just found it!"  Shay Hampton, MSgt USAF (Ret)

Why horses?  Horses are masters at being in the present moment and living in the now.  They can teach us new skills in mindfulness, personal empowerment, relationships and leadership.  As prey animals, horses are connected to their sixth sense - they trust what they feel.  Humans, on the other hand, put more value on their rational brain and thought process, cutting themselves off from their ability to sense their way through the world.  The horse offers us a form of biofeedback, showing us what is below the surface and asking us to become congruent. 

Exercises focus on teaching skills to access body awareness, defining personal space, mutual respect and the power of intent.  These tools give us the space to step out of our programming, seek balance and develop the skills to reach our true potential.  The take-away has far reaching applications that are linked to increased success in our personal life, relationships, parenting skills and career objectives. 

This program can be modified to accommodate school, community/church groups, civic organizations, families, couples and more.  Financial assistance and family group rates available.  Call 716-655-1335 for more information.