SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Retired racehorses are rescuing those who devote their lives to rescuing others. With new grants from the VA, Therapeutic Horses of Saratoga is providing free services to veterans and they’re seeking funding to do the same for first responders.
“Any rough and tough person can really be opened up when confronted with their issues in front of our horses,” said Megan Koloskie, development manager for Therapeutic Horses of Saratoga. “We find that working with our animals and providing that service really helps them to open up in a completely different way unrestricted by office walls.”
According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, an alarming majority of first responders face alcohol abuse, depression, PTSD and suicide.
Officer Glenn Barrett with Saratoga Police Department says access to this type of therapy is life-changing. As part of the Saratoga Police Mounted Unit, he knows the impact horses can have.
“To be out in nature with a horse in a paddock on a beautiful day with the sun it makes people open up even like people like ourselves,” said Barrett. “It’s hard for law enforcement or veterans to open up at times it just gives you a different environment to interact.”
Retired or injured racehorses come to Therapeutic Horses of Saratoga and are rehabilitated and trained. Caring for these horses with a licensed mental health professional is used in therapeutic sessions. If you would like to volunteer, are interested in therapy, or would like to help secure funding, visit thsaratoga.org.