Mission: Bethany's gait mission is "to rescue, rehabilitate and restore the lives of military heroes and their families as well as horses in need through creating a bond between horse and human. " we meet our mission through three primary programs - our mentor program, our leadership program, and our equine facilitated psychotherapy (efp) program.
Programs: The philosophy of our mentor program is one client, one horse, one mentor, all the time. The client is paired with a mentor who is chosen for him/her based on the client's needs (i. E. A combat veteran will be paired with a mentor who is also a combat veteran who has worked through his/her combat stress and can provide guidance). They are then introduced to our horses and allowed to choose the horse they want to bond with. The client then comes out weekly to care for "their horse" (including grooming, feeding, exercising and first aid if necessary) and to learn horsemanship skills, including riding. The healing for both horse and client takes place through a bond that is developed based on unconditional love, unwavering trust and a keen understanding of what the other has been through. Our leadership program is primarily for student veterans and rotc units at the local colleges. This program teaches leadership skills and helps aid in transition to civilian life through work with the horses. It is generally done in a group setting. We also conduct 3- and 4-day retreats for the wounded warrior battalions. These may include marriage retreats to help couples deal with their new reality and strengthen their marriages or retreats for single wounded warriors to develop skills necessary for transition into civilian life. All such retreats include work with our horses, classroom presentations, and other experiential learning activities (i. E. High ropes course, etc. ). Our programs serve approximately 20 children and 40 adults per month.
our equine facilitated psychotherapy program (efp) is open to both children and adults. It is facilitated by a mental health professional and an equine specialist, both who are certified in equine therapy. The team helps facilitate a relationship between the horse and client through various exercises done in and outside the arena. In most cases clients are given the opportunity to choose the horse they'd like to work with which helps to facilitate a bond that offers healing and learning for both the client and the horse. We practice a unique form of equine therapy known as equine communication partnership rituals (ecpr). In the ecpr model, much of what the clients do focuses on herd behavior and horse communication techniques. Through seven different communication "rituals" they begin to make positive changes to their behavior and how they relate to others. During and after the sessions clients process their feelings and behaviors with the therapy team and their peers (if in a group setting). Clients take the lessons learned with the horses, including positive communication, trust, leadership and anger management, and apply them to their own lives using analogy and metaphor.