Healing and hope through horses
By Daniel Arens
When it comes to therapy for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), horses probably are not the first thing that comes to mind.
However, that is just what 16 United States Armed Forces veterans found at a camp in Emigrant, Mont. The program, “Heroes and Horses,” aims to provide healing for veterans struggling with the adjustment to civilian life through horse and human contact in remote Montana.
“It’s for combat veterans with PTSD,” Chaise Spiegle said. “It’s a place for healing.”
Spiegle served in the United States Army for eight years, from 2007 to 2015, and was deployed in Afghanistan. His mission in the war-torn country was route clearance.
“We went on the route before anyone else,” Spiegle said. “We had to make sure the route was safe.”
“My job was easy till something went wrong, and then I had the hardest job,” he went on.
Because of the nature of his service, Spiegle experienced numerous traumatic moments. He said he “was exploded” himself three times, and saw many other soldiers killed.