A Helping Hoof (“HH”) is a variation of a therapy center concept, but instead of being a short-term solution, it is a valuable part of a long-term solution for both the Veteran and the rescue horse. Once the horse is paired with the Veteran, that horse will be at their disposal for whenever they choose to ride. Trainers across the U.S. will work with both the horse and the rider to ensure they become a successful team.
Once the trainer has determined that the horse and rider are ready to ride unsupervised, the horse will be transported to a boarding stable in proximity to the Veteran’s residence. The boarding stable will assume full responsibility for the care and housing of that horse, to eliminate any physical or financial burden the Veteran. The trainer will make themselves available to resolve any issues that may arise or to provide any further training the rider or horse require.
In addition to enhancing the quality of a Veteran’s life, Helping Hoof will address another pervasive problem by primarily using rescue horses; horses are a luxury - whenever horse owners have a financial setback, the horses will be the most affected. Currently there are thousands of horses whose owners can no longer afford to feed and care for them. Thus, these horses are either given to rescue organizations or, just left out in a pasture to fend for themselves.
The Founder of this organization suffered a spinal injury which resulted in permanent limitations. In her case, having one area of her life that is completely unaffected by her physical limitations makes her more content and significantly offsets the chronic pain. The hope is that this program will have a similar effect on the Veteran. Helping Hoof’s efforts may result in a wife getting back a husband who is more like the man who left for war, and his children getting back a parent that is less disheartened, frustrated, or angry.