There’s a lot of talk about how to help veterans and active military personnel suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, depression, brain injury, chronic pain and other mental and physical problems. Still, approximately 20 U.S. veterans commit suicide every day in this country. We obviously need to do more than talk.
Robert Woelk and Debbi Fisher have a passion for the needs of veterans and active military personnel who suffer from the results of their service. And not by just moving their lips, but through action. This pair operates Hope for Heroes Equine Therapy Consulting and Horsemanship Center in Yelm, Washington. They also provide training to others with the desire to follow their lead and open therapy centers designed to uplift veterans and offer an opportunity for healing.
Hope for Heroes Equine Therapy Consulting and Horsemanship Center is at the heart of Woelk’s and Fisher’s years of work and dedication to the idea that those who serve deserve the unique help that horses provide.
Anyone who has spent time working closely with a horse knows these animals offer a special type of rescue not easily found anywhere else. Equines reflect our anger and anxiety back at us in a way that moves our healing forward; their generous and forgiving natures reward us for each small improvement we make. Working with horses requires us to stay present and living in the moment. Horses show us that they feel both our love and our heartbreak, and they have an uncanny ability to shine some light on us even when we are in our darkest place.
Woelk and Fisher have helped develop a number of equine centers across the country that provide equine-assisted therapy to veterans and active military men and women with amazing results. They offer their consulting services on site, by Skype, or over the phone.
Veterans are looking for answers, and equine therapy is helping. Research shows that veterans experience significant improvements after just six to eight weeks of horsemanship lessons. Many of these veterans confirm that time spent with a horse saved their life.
If you want to understand more about how these programs function, or if you are considering starting a program in your own community, Hope for Heroes is there to help.
Learn more about Hope for Heroes and the amazing work they are doing at www.hope4heroesconsulting.org.
Debbi Fisher and Robert Woelk have recently written Stopping Veteran Suicide with Horses: A Promising Approach to PTSD, which can be purchased from Amazon. This book outlines their process and tells many individual stories of healing.
“Veterans are looking for nontraditional solutions to help them overcome despair. While the medical industry has not embraced or fully studied veteran equine therapeutic lessons, therapeutic horsemanship programs are providing hope and help to those who have served. This book demonstrates how carefully developed programs involving horses can make a difference. You will be moved by the powerful stories of those who find solace in this innovative method. Debbi Fisher and Robert Woelk have over a decade of experience in leading equine centers focused upon healing veterans and active duty military personnel. This book presents a genuine, compelling story of what therapeutic horsemanship is, why it works, and how to implement a program and make available the amazing benefits to our nation’s heroes.” – Janet L. Brennan, Founder & Executive Director, Shamrock Reins, Pipersville, PA
Kim Roe grew up riding on the family ranch and competed in Western rail classes, trail horse, reining, working cow, and hunter/jumper. She trained her first horse for money at 12 years old, starting a pony for a neighbor.
Kim has been a professional dressage instructor in Washington state for over 30 years, training hundreds of horses and students through the levels. In recent years Kim has become involved in Working Equitation and is a small ‘r’ Working Equitation judge with WE United.
Kim is the editor of the Northwest Horse Source Magazine, and also a writer, photographer, and poet. She owns and manages Blue Gate Farm in Deming, Washington where she continues to be passionate about helping horses and riders in many disciplines.