To provide some additional perspective on why we see the need for this company/organization to exist we offer the thoughts and vision by founder Steven DePalma who suffers from PTSD:
“PTSD, which we should just call PTS because its not really a disorder is it? People are affected differently by the horrors of war. Some people can come home and never really let it change their way of life. Others come home and can barely function. I don't believe that anyone who has seen the tragedies of war is really the same as before they left, but it’s clear to me that everyone handles the return differently.
I am noticing that the news has been running stories on Veterans returning with PTS/PTSD and telling the American public they will be instituting more programs for Veterans. What are these programs? Who will run them? Are we going to rely on the VA to handle this? Are we going to have mental health counselors run these events?
Here's my solution. Lets start programs for Veterans either with their families,( because they are affected too) that give them something else to focus on besides the war. Fishing, Hiking, Mountain biking, Camping and of course horseback riding.
I do believe that if the mind is occupied with positive and happy thoughts it will push out the negative thoughts. What I try to do with Veterans is just that. I try to show them there is a balance between what we did as soldiers and what we can do now at home. I use the horse to show them that balance. For many veterans having trust in others is a big issue. I show them they can earn trust with a horse and they can trust the horse. Together with balance in trust they can heal.
Will we all heal completely? I don't know. I do know that for me some days are a struggle. 4 years ago this month I decided that I didn't want to go on anymore. I let my mind through the influence of alcohol decide the world would be better without me. Some how that gun didn't fire. I had a second chance. I found my healing in my work with horses, I began to realize that I could trust again an as my life began to have more balance I turned my thoughts to learning more about how working with horses could save others in my same situation.
Today, I know why I am here. I know what God has intended for me. I am here for all my Veterans. Army, Navy, Marines, Air force, Coast Guard....male, female and any war or conflict. You don't have to be the service member. Families hurt too. I am here whether it’s to ride or just talk. I am that guy. Its time to stop talking about what we can do for PTS/PTSD and time to act. Not tomorrow but today.”