The Wounded Warrior Horsemanship program is set for 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 14 at Wetherby Field and is going to be the biggest yet of all the horsemanship events, said retired Command Sgt. Maj. Samuel Rhodes, creator of the program.
“We have chosen to do it in conjunction with the Best Ranger Competition,” he said. “The Rangers competing are among the best in the world. It’s a yearly event to recognize just who is the best. I chose this date in order to really send the message that Fort Benning (focuses) at both ends — recognizing the best while still taking every opportunity to help these great warriors transition to a wonderful life.”
The program began in November 2008 and incorporates the “Cowboy 3 Rs,” which stand for riding, roping and respect.
Rhodes said pilot programs at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Brooke Army Medical Center and Fort Hood Physical Therapy Program noted the effects of injured Soldiers who used “equine-assisted therapies.”
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“These programs have worked with seriously injured Soldiers and amputees with improving the healing process through incorporating horsemanship and riding into the therapeutic regimen,” he said.
Rhodes said these programs helped to improve self-confidence, morale, sense of accomplishment, balance, coordination and body awareness.
The last event in October saw more than 600 participants and featured training and education on the care of horses, horseback riding and demonstrations.
The event is free and open to the public. Children ages 18 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. For more information about the Wounded Warrior Horsemanship program, visit www.warrioroutreach.org or email Rhodes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If interested in registering to volunteer with or without horses, visit www.houseofheroescvc.volunteerhub.com/Events/Browse.aspx.