Retired racehorse helps war veterans heal and recover.

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Retired racehorse helps war veterans heal and recover.

Racehorses and veterans often have something unexpected in common — they are often both nervous, anxious and skittish after spending periods of time exposed to intense stimuli and situations.

Vets often find relief from insomnia, PTSD and anxiety and depression working with horses, often healing one another. Saratoga War Horse, founded by vet Bob Nevins, created a program where vets work with horses, healing themselves as they bond and care for horses, who are sometimes equally damaged inside.

The healing element seems to be mutual compassion that comes from understanding one another and feeling less alone.

“The horse responds to that with a tremendous relief, ‘Oh somebody understands me.’ And that’s what the veteran is actually saying at the same time, ‘Oh someone understands me finally,'” Bob says. “The transformation that takes place — you realize you may have just saved someone’s life.”

Bob doesn’t claim the program is therapy, but the experience is often healing in its own way, because the connection between man and animals can be so strong. That connection is often strong enough to help spark deeper levels of healing with vets.

See the video below to see more of this work in action — and watch how two different creatures can help heal one another…

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