By: Lindy Washburn
“They are each wary and slow to trust others. They each scan their surroundings constantly. And each stays constantly alert for danger.
But while horses depend on those characteristics for survival, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder can find them debilitating — traits that interfere with family and work life and can result in disturbed sleep, depression and substance abuse.
Now, researchers are hoping that when man and beast find common ground, through a series of guided interactions such as grooming the horse and leading it around a ring, it will help treat PTSD.
Columbia University is conducting one of the first such university-led studies of horse-assisted therapy with veterans who have PTSD at the Bergen Equestrian Center in Leonia.
The study is funded by the Man O’ War Project, named after a famous racehorse and founded by Earle I. Mack, a U.S. Army veteran, lifelong horseman and founding director of the Mack-Cali real estate firm.”