Veterans

Our flagship program is a peer-to-peer program with our facilitators, horses and other vets who work as a team to accelerate the journey home to family and community.   

Our four-session curriculum is designed to introduce the principles of natural horsemanship as a way to help vets gain the trust, respect and willingness to collaborate from those with whom they live and work. We and our equine partners demonstrate the value of using finesse vs. force and cooperation vs. control.

We also educate our veteran students with life-changing insight and information around managing their emotion(s). Our Emotional Agility presentation, based on the work of Karla McLaren, Linda Kohanov and our head instructor David Sonatore, LCSW, is approachable, engaging and incredibly useful.  

We believe that If veterans can learn to use emotions the way horses do – as information to help them stay alive, set healthy boundaries, support one another in times of need – there would be no need to stay stuck in the stories we often tell about what we might have done differently in the past or what may or may not happen in the future.

We all have a lot to learn from our horses about being present to what’s happening right now – especially those who never had the time or tools available to unwind and renew their reserves of emotional and mental energy.  

The day Apache made a connection with me and chose to follow me on his own, demonstrated that he trusted me. It helped me realize that I could trust myself … because if a horse chooses to disregard his own hypervigilance, and trusts, that means that I can do the same.
TM
Marine

First Responders

First responders have an immense impact on their communities. We also know from first-hand experience the impact that secondary trauma can have, and that burnout is a reality that many first responders face. Our veterans programs are a perfect fit for first responders. We believe that learning the art and skill of self regulation, understanding how to make distinctions among seemingly conflicting emotions and building the capacity to process ‘the day’ before coming home are all part of maintaining healthy relationships — and all part of ensuring top performance when police, firefighters or EMT’s need it most.

The Equus Effect believes that if the people who are called upon to respond to our community members’ in their times of crisis are better equipped to handle the stressors of their job, the community as a whole will better cared for and more resilient.  Here are a few of the enduring benefits:

  • Renewal of energy and focus
  • Addressing own reactions to be more capable of helping others
  • Learn practices and approaches to emergency situations that help others settle down.
I learned about some simple and quick things I could do to get grounded and clear my head before heading home after a tough day. What a gift for me and for my family.
JT
First Responder

Veteran Mentor Program

Once a veteran has completed enough sessions to understand the basic principles of non-verbal communication with our horses, he or she is eligible to earn a Level I Certificate in Natural Horsemanship and join our network of veterans liaisons. This aspect of our program is about serving others and helping new vets get acclimated to the farm and comfortable working with horses. Our aim is to build an authentic community where vets can BE better together…not just DO better on their own.

Veteran Liaisons

Tim McCall
Corporal, USMC

Steven Troop
E-4 US Army

Christina Walls
Army Specialist – E-4 US Army

David Flounders
O-3E US Army

If you’d like to get involved with the programs we offer veterans free of charge, here’s how:

Are you interested in helping us?

The Equus Effect logo

The Equus Effect is a registered 501(C)(3) corporation. All contributions are 100% tax deductible.

DIRECTIONS: 

IMPORTANT!  Please use Google maps with address above!  See map on our Contact Page. 

IMPORTANT!  If using Waze app, set destination to Sharon Town Beach, Mudge Pond Rd., Sharon, CT.  When arriving, Drum Hill is directly across.

Menu

The Equus Effect
37 Drum Road, Sharon, CT 06069

Main Office  (860) 364-5363

Jane Strong  
Executive Director
Co-founder & Lead Facilitator
(860) 364-9985


David Sonatore
 
Chief Knowledge Officer
Co-founder & Lead Facilitator
(347) 439-1777

Kelly Hitt  
Marketing & Communications Director
Outreach Coordinator
(203) 613-1107