Combat veterans and active duty service members who have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Military Sexual Trauma (MST), and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) have in most cases, not transitioned back to civilian life in a positive way.  Difficulties in finding employment, getting back into life with their families and reestablishing relationships have resulted in high suicide rates, broken families, homelessness, etc.  The Veteran’s Administration can only do so much, and often traditional therapies do not help the veteran return to a “normal” life.  HAH provides an alternative method of healing. Through the interaction with horses, the veterans experience a calming of their mind and body.  They also develop a close and harmonious relationship with another living being.  They often find it easy to talk with their horse while grooming, hand grazing or just walking around together. Walking around in the natural environment encourages the release of trauma that’s been stored in the body. These experiences transfer over to their everyday life, help re-establish relationships, control anger through self-calming, and restore confidence.  HAH also offers fly-fishing and fly-tying.  Fly fishing teaches focus, patience and perseverance. Being in nature on the water allows the veteran to experience calmness and peace of mind. Fly Fishing, healing the whole
person, one cast at a time.  Fly-tying is a well-developed art of making an intricate fly with feathers and hair of fascinating colors and textures. It requires concentration and mindfulness, paying attention to details, and coordination of the mind and body (hands) to produce a beautiful fly that gives the fly-tier a sense of accomplishment.  Tying flies is like a meditation and all the skills participants developed in the HAH program can carry over into other aspects of their life.

The objectives of the HAH program are:
  • To initiate, stimulate, provide, and promote the growth and development of adaptive sports, recreational/therapeutic activities.
  • To guide, accompany, or support persons with disabilities in therapeutic/recreational activities.
  • To promote the concept of health and lifetime fitness for persons with disabilities through adaptive sports.

The program has been offered to both men and women veterans in two separate sessions.