“In January of 2012, when my husband returned from his last deployment, I decided to start the Brave HEART (Heroes Equine Adventure & Riding Therapy) Program, a non-profit that merged my love of horses with a desire to give back to the military community. Jeff and I have been married and living the military life for over 21 years, and it has been our horses that have helped us through many of the trials and hardships. I wanted to share this wonderful healing equine interaction with other military spouses.
“The Mission of the Brave HEART Program is to support those who serve our country by bringing service members and their families together in an environment what helps them reconnect and strengthen family bonds. We provide horse-related and other outdoor activities in a positive and serene setting that helps service members make the transition from the combat zone to home. The Program is designed to help service members reconnect with their families through sharing enjoyable and beneficial activities. The farm setting allows families to participate in a variety of outdoor activities including horseback riding (both therapeutic and instructional), horse grooming, nature hikes, bonfires, and arts and crafts.
“Brave HEART is just one of many programs that make up Horses Healing Maryland’s Military (HHMM). HHMM is a new coalition of approximately 16 licensed stables, from 11 different counties in Maryland that offer services to service members, veterans, and their families.
“With the wonderful help and support of the Maryland Horse Industry Board, HHMM is organizing a ‘Military Riding Showcase’ at the Maryland State Fair on Friday, September 2 from 5pm-8pm. We have invited other mounted Military and Police units, such as the Old Guard Caisson Platoon from Ft. Myer and the Maryland-National Capital Park Police to participate as well. We are planning to have a tribute to the Military, a few riding classes and a parade of all the mounted units. Veterans and horses from some of the HHMM programs will be coming to ride and compete as well.
“We know that family is vital and appreciate the immeasurable courage, sacrifice and dedication of our military personnel and their families. I wanted to honor this by giving something back to them. I believe every military family is special. I know deployments take a toll on the service member and on the family, both during the deployment and after they return home. Each deserves the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of the American way of life, which they have worked so hard to support and defend.”
To learn more about this program or the Military Riding Showcase, visit http://www.BraveHeartRiding.org #humansonthehomefront