When the National President of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary visited northwest Louisiana recently, Jean Hamil visited Warrior Horse near Frierson. She came to review a program that is helping veterans deal with PTSD.
The Founder and Executive Director of Warrior Horse, Kevin Russell gave an impressive presentation centered on the relationship that develops between veterans and horses. Russell said, “I cannot explain what takes place in the arena. The program is magic. There is a bonding that takes place between the vet and the horse and the vet receives the benefit.”
Hamil observed that bonding between a horse and Army National Guard member David Fields. He is a veteran who suffered traumatic brain injury over a year ago in an auto accident in DeSoto Parish. Fields is also a member of the VFW. The horse Fields bonded with is named Bunny. Even seated outside the round pen arena spectators could feel the bond as Bunny followed Field’s non-verbal commands.
Kevin Russell summed it up, “A vet leaves his personal baggage outside the arena. The horse can sense if all is not right. When the horse senses all is OK, he will come up and touches the veteran.” And Russell added, “The purpose of this program is to get the vet some relief.”