Healing Horses & Armed Forces (HHAAF) offers Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) for returning military personnel through a growing modality for maintaining a healthy mind, enhancing resilience, and ensuring the recovery of service members and their families. Horses are teamed with a licensed mental health professional and equine professional in addressing the issues our warriors face from serving our country. “On the ground” activities with the horses are designed to mimic real life issues. This allows the warriors and wellness team to “see” where the challenges lie and allows participants to find solutions that work. The participants quickly recognize unhealthy patterns, acknowledge their personal strengths, and enact new behaviors. One session of EAL in the barn is equal to five sessions “on the couch,” because participants are experiencing a new way of being rather than just talking about their issues. HHAAF offers programs that address the whole person with an integrated behavioral/based, bio/psycho/social/spiritual approach. Otherwise, a body, mind heart and soul approach. HHAAF was created to assist in the transition from war back to civilian life using some of the strategies taught by the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association. (EAGALA). HHAAF is also working with service members from Fort Irwin and other bases in CA, women who are dealing with Military Sexual Trauma and other issues that pertain to our women warriors.
HHAAF’s vision is to share our love and knowledge of the human, equine connection, and to put together a network of experts who veterans don’t have access to in other areas of the country. We envision a wellness center where veterans, service members and their families can get support in their healing that is confidential. We plan on using other types of viable, non-traditional therapies as well, that compliment the human, equine connection. What HHAAF has to offer is uncommon and not available anywhere else in Southern California. By serving an under served population in this way we will be solving a problem and filling a need.