Saturday, January 2, 2010

Triple H Equitherapy-- Horses for Heroes Program

A few of you know of my volunteer work at the Triple H Equitherapy program as a horse handler, side walker, tack cleaner, and grunt for the yearly Triple H Scavenger Hunt. I am pleased to say that The Hooves to Heroes Program has recently gotten major funding, and at LAST is getting some attention from the military to aid our wounded veterans. I have not participated in working with the veterans as of yet. As you can well imagine, EVERYONE wants to volunteer for those classes, and we have only had three or four riders participate so far. There will be more, and perhaps then I will be placed in a class, but I am not worried about it. I am just happy that the program is finally happening; some of you may know that my son's father is currently in Iraq for one year, and I myself was in the military at one time, so it is wonderful seeing the program getting the funding and attention it deserves!

I just bloom where I am planted out there, and especially love working with the Developmentally Disabled folks as that is where I have 12 years of experience.  Having my son full-time has put a bit of a damper on volunteering, especially during the school year.

I currently fill in occasionally, clean tack when I can, and went out last week to help clear trails on horseback for our annual Mounted Scavenger Hunt. I miss my classes! During the summer I was involved in one two hour class for an at risk youth who had been abused, and a two hour class for an autistic child (age 8) and his brother (age 10). Sometimes we forget that the sibling needs a little horsey therapy too! I enjoyed these classes as we taught horse care from the ground up. How to act around a horse, how to groom, tack up, and then the culmination--Riding!  My son's brother (age five) has been diagnosed with autism, and I would love to see him out there riding too.

In the future I plan on working on my instructor certification. Sadly, not being able to volunteer as often has put a HUGE hold on that plan for right now. However, I will not give up on those plans, and in the New Year will work to make my volunteering committment more frequent. With summer creeping up, there will be more classes, and I won't have to worry about being there when the kiddo gets home from school to do homework, dinner, and ensure a proper bedtime. I can bring him along and have him clean stalls!! :)

Below is a news article regarding the Horses for Heroes Program, and a quick video featuring football player Mario Williams who made a generous donation.

If you want to see more about the facility and it's programs, go here .

November 2009

Wounded warriors who are part of the Warrior Transition Battalion at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) in San Antonio are benefiting from equine assisted therapy at Triple H Equitherapy Center thanks to a $15,000 donation secured by a member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

Jeff Harris of Kerrville, Texas, contacted William Hutton, Los Angeles, who is a friend and Purple Heart member about the therapeutic riding opportunity at Triple H. Hutton sought financial help from longtime friend, Robert Irmas, who represents the Audrey & Sydney Irmas Charitable Foundation, also located in Los Angeles.

Irmas said the foundation is honored to be part of Triple H’s Horses for Heroes program. “Providing support for our wounded service members is a high priority for us and we take this obligation very seriously,” he added.

A few troops who were wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan have participated in therapeutic riding at Triple H over the past 18 months including Staff Sgt. Chris Edwards, Sgt. Omar Avila and Cpl. Javier Rivera. All three suffered extensive burns and other injuries when Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) detonated under their military vehicles. They continue to receive treatment at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.

But like the true heroes they are, these soldiers are more concerned about how their injuries have affected their families than the impact the disabilities have on their own lives. They are upbeat as they work to recover a sense of normalcy and they are proud to have served their country.

Avila, who grew up in the Rio Grande Valley, says that the therapeutic riding he’s done has enabled him to walk longer distances. “It’s another way of doing therapy that doesn’t feel like therapy,” he says with a smile.

Rivera says that equine assisted therapy is a great way to take his mind off of what has happened. He has fond memories of horseback riding growing up in Puerto Rico and says “I really look forward to coming out to ride.”

Edwards said he could feel the stretch in my scar bands immediately. He said he was excited about getting more disabled veterans interested in therapeutic riding.

Located about 20 miles northwest of San Antonio near Pipe Creek, the riding center provides therapy for children and youth with special needs, adults recovering from injuries, and most recently wounded warriors. Triple H Equitherapy Center is the only nonprofit center in the San Antonio area to be fully accredited by the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA). It is one of only about 200 NARHA designated premier therapeutic riding centers in the country.

Please contact Executive Director Richard Dosher at 830-510-9515 or email to learn more about making a donation to the Triple H Equitherapy Center or to inquire about their Horses for Heroes program.

Texans Defensive End Mario Williams presented a $10,000 donation to the Center for Citizen Leadership's "The Mission Continues" program at an event in Houston in March 2009 hosted by Esquire Magazine and Armani. Our Veteran Outreach Coordinator, Mathew Trotter, who is a volunteer for our organization was on hand to help accept the gift.

"The Mission Continues" featuring Triple H Equitherapy Center's Mathew Trotter


  1. What a wonderful program. We all know how horses continually heal us. Imagine how they can help not only these soldiers, but their families.

    God bless you all!

  2. What a great program. Years ago, I volunteered with a Theraputic riding program. One of the most touching moments was when a boy I had been working with sat up tall on his horse and said, "I feel like a King!". That about sums it up.


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