"The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive." Thich Nhat Hanh.
This simple truth is the effect we seek to achieve in our interactions with the horse.
Our goal is to be an integral part of the solution to the growing problem of veteran suicides, post-traumatic stress, and other barriers to veterans leading happy, healthy lives. Whether a hero is grooming a horse, learning proper ground work techniques, or working with one of our rescued horses, the human and horse are living in the moment, concentrating on one another. We are not here to "fix" anyone, and we are not a recreational program (don't expect to show up and jump on a horse!). We are here to offer the opportunity of a lifetime by teaching our veterans how to truly connect and interact with a horse.
It is important for those who wish to participate in our program to learn how to communicate, create trust, and form a bond with the horses. We begin by teaching the silent language of the horse to our veterans, who then test their skills through groundwork. Some of our horses have little training or past experiences that they are also working through, and we have found that our veteran participants enjoy helping these animals as much as the animals enjoy working with the veterans.
Gaining a horse's trust takes effort, but the effort can result in the experience of a lifetime.
Interested veterans should complete our online program application. After an application is submitted, we will contact you for an interview. There is no cost to veterans; the cost is covered by the generosity of grateful citizens. We also offer the opportunity for veterans in our community to enjoy a visit from a horse, if they are unable to make the trip to the sanctuary.
Our program is available to veterans from anywhere in the United States, from any branch of service, no matter when or for how long they served.
In 2019, we will sponsor our first annual fundraiser for the rescue called the "Honor our Veterans" dinner. We hope you will join us to meet the World War II veterans who will be our honored guests and help support our effort to ensure that the horses and veterans who join us at Hidden Hollow find the peace and solace they deserve. More information is available on the Donate page, where you can learn about our guests, the silent auction, and purchase dinner tickets.
Our veterans served and protected us and our country, and we are honored to give back to them.