We had the pleasure of hosting a group of 4 women veterans from the Boise VA this past weekend. They arrived on Friday to ominous weather but were game to participate in activities with our horses and campout in our newly relocated campground. The staff made sure the campground was ready for them with wall tents and teepees supplied with cots, extra sleeping bags, hand warmers and chocolates and the fire pit ready to light for a roaring evening fire. They spent the first afternoon learning the basics of horse handling, ground skills, grooming and connecting with horses through leading. Moving on to an EFT (equine facilitated therapy) activity of observing the horses, their behavior, how they react, who reminds them of themselves and who they would like to work with. Basically choosing their own horse for the next couple days. Everyone groomed, tacked and rode their new partner ending with a goal setting activity. A warm and healthy dinner was served in the alley way of the old arena due to the cold damp conditions. But along with the heaters over head and the warmth of the meal everyone was warm, full and happy.
They next day was full of more activities revolved around life skills, communication, ownership & integrity and ending with a super fun cow sorting afternoon. A few quotes overheard from the women we so heartfelt and described the impact these amazing creatures, ranch and wonderful staff had on these 4 brave women.
“I’m high right now…..I’ve been telling my grandson to get high on life and not on drugs…now I know what that means.”
“Empowerment is not even a strong enough word for what I felt at Swiftsure”
“Tree helped me conquer my fear of horses and made me feel like I was always safe. Feeling safe is very important to me right now”
Thank you Boise VA and Kelly O’dell for bringing out an amazing group of veterans to the ranch for a unforgettable weekend campout! Can’t wait for your next visit!