There’s a place in New York, near Saratoga Springs Racetrack, that works miracles with warriors from the race track and our nation’s warriors. It’s called Saratoga War Horse, and it’s a sanctuary.
It’s a place where veterans can come to find healing and renew their sense of self-worth. Elizabeth Torres, pictured below, says after her time in the armed services, she became “reclusive, introverted, isolated.”
But after working with Whiskey, one of the retired racehorses in the program, she said she now feels like she isn’t as empty anymore.
“There’s some good left in here,” she says. “There really is!” She feels like Whiskey gave back some of what was taken from her.
Founder of Saratoga War Horse, Bob Nevins, himself a veteran knows that, like Ronald Reagan was fond of saying, there is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. "There's a lot of pain that these veterans have to find a way to let go of, and this seems to be a very effective method,” he says.
"The horse responds to that with a tremendous relief, 'oh somebody understands me.' And that's what the veteran is actually saying at the same time, 'oh someone understands me finally,'" said Nevins. "The transformation that takes place, you realize you may have just saved someone's life."
Captain C.J. Sealey is another veteran who has found healing at Saratoga War Horse. “I deal with sleep issues and nightmares,” he says. But he has found an antidote in a different kind of mare.
He tells people, "Whatever emotions I had, whatever I was feeling, at that time inside the ring, I was able to leave it there. I passed through the gate and I felt that I didn't have to carry it anymore."
Nevins may not know how it works, but he is adamant that it does. And if you watch this empowering video below, you’ll be convinced, too.