DALLAS(KDAF) — Cowboys and horses are part of the DFW DNA – at Equest, folks of all backgrounds can learn all about horsemanship, all while lessening the stresses of PTSD, physical disabilities, and more.

Bud, one of the many horses in the Equest stables, buddies up to program participant.

This Veterans Day, we visited Equest to see the incredible impact horse therapy provides to veterans for free, through their Hooves for Heroes program.

“Instead of going to the clinic or the office and sitting on the couch and talking to your counselor, you come to Equest and use the horse as part of that therapy plan,” Joan Cutler, Program Manager at Equest said. “You get to brush the horse while you’re talking, and lead the horse, learn things about you and the horse while you’re figuring things out.”

They have both physical AND emotional therapies. 

Attaway, the Marine veteran who came home from combat with injuries, guides a horse as part of Equest therapy.

“They’ve helped out with my PTSD, different issues, the new injury,” an injured 8-year Marine Veteran, Paul Attaway said. “It’s been a work in progress.”

“The biggest piece with anything equine is the connection with the horse,” Utter said. “I always say the horse has the answer – even if we don’t know what’s going on, the horse will know. The hose is able to pick up on the energy of what’s going on inside. The horse will be the first person to call you out. Even if the entire session is completely silent, the horse will share so much.”

“We can actually read the horses,” Megan Price, an occupational therapist with Equest, said. “We’ll say, Thoran here is not so interested in this person. What’s going on inside them – let’s work on that.”

Hear more about Paul’s journey at Equest and the other impactful work they do in the video above!

If you or someone you know is a veteran or the dependent of one who could use these therapies, Equest provides these services to them for free. You can reach out to Equest via their website here.