Horses 4 Heroes: How Horses are Helping People Heal

Chestnut Horse's Profile in Green Space

Horses are known for their majestic presence and calming energy.

For most people being around horses is a soothing experience.

The same health benefits you get from cats and dogs can also be experienced while grooming a horse or going for a leisurely ride.

This makes horses perfect therapy animals, and Horses 4 Heroes is one organization that is taking therapy horses to the next level!

Sydney Knott is a single mother of three, a cancer survivor and a huge animal lover. When she opened the Horses 4 Heroes Community Equestrian Center, she did so with a dream of helping people.

Since their founding, Sydney has grown her dream to encompass programs at over 200 equestrian centers across the USA.

Horses 4 Heroes helps many different demographics including military, veterans, first responders, nurses, teachers, and children that are in foster care.

They have several programs that are designed to help individuals overcome traumatic experiences and/or emotional troubles they may be having.

Some of those programs are:

Stay Strong

This program encourages its participants to do just what the name suggests. Having a family member in the military or being in the military yourself can be traumatic—as can dealing with the heartache of PTSD in yourself or a loved one.

This program gets families and individuals to ride and care for the horses as a means of recovery.

Sometimes people need a shoulder to cry on, and like their website states, “horses have big shoulders.”

Horses4Heroes honors Vietnam Veteran, Bill Krusen, USAF, and his family and wife, Rae Nell Krusen.

A photo posted by Horses4Heroes (@horses4heroes) on

8.9.10 Ride to Win

This program is geared toward children in grades 3-5 and it is absolutely free. It was started as a means of empowering youth.

This is an important age for many children and this program teaches them invaluable life lessons about relationships, responsibility, independence and self confidence.

This four week program is also absolutely free thanks to generous donors who felt the program was invaluable.

Back in the Saddle

Designed to help those that are struggling in life, the goals of this program are to help homeless veterans, victims of domestic abuse and at risk teens.

The program uses horses to give people the independence and self confidence they need to succeed in the real world and get back into the saddles of their life, figuratively speaking of course.

Unfinished Business

This program is designed as an alternative approach to grief counseling. Losing someone you love is a heartbreaking event and many are reluctant to talk to others about their feelings.

During this program people are taught all about horses and how they are prey animals that are hard wired to fear humans and other predators.

They then teach each person how to approach a horse, put on a halter, and lead the horse outside. If they stick with the program they are later taught about horse care and riding.

The programs at Horses 4 Heroes are lifesaving and groundbreaking. One woman’s passion has helped thousands of people gain closure and recover from the traumas of their life.

If you are interested in one of Horses4Heroes programs, but aren’t located in Nevada, check to see if your local equestrian center offers the same programs. Or if you can afford it, get a horse of your own.

A photo posted by Horses4Heroes (@horses4heroes) on

If you choose to get a horse of your own you will get to experience the cathartic benefits of grooming, feeding, riding and caring for your horse on a daily basis. If you are a new rider I would suggest seeking out a rescue to help you find the perfect horse for you.

Many horses end up in rescues at no fault of their own. Their owners may have fallen on hard times, they may have been owned by a trail riding business that went out of business, or they may have simply just been given away to someone who no longer wanted them.

Whatever the reason many of these horses are already fully trained and would make a great friend for a beginning enthusiast.

No matter what you decide to do, if you are suffering from depression, PTSD, anxiety, or another debilitating physical or mental disability don’t be afraid to ask for help.

The world can be a cruel place at times, but it is also filled with love and hope. So never give up!

There will always be someone who cares for you and wants to help you, whether it is a horse, a dog, a cat, or a human.


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