Magic Moments Riding Therapy, in Hoberg, is now one of the approved centers offering therapy for the Wounded Warrior Project.
"Any veteran wounded in service after 9-11 is eligible to receive these services," said Jeanne Brummet, director of Magic Moments Riding Therapy. "There is not a limit on the number of veterans to be served."
The project was spearheaded by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship and is offered only through premiere accredited centers across the nation.
"Each individual will be evaluated according to their injuries and needs," Brummet said. "We serve everyone with post traumatic stress disorder to brain injuries and amputees.
Brummet said vets will be encouraged to form a relationship with their therapy horse through exercise, grooming and riding the animal.
"It's horse psych 101. This program will allow veterans time to 'get away' from their troubles as well as receive some needed services," Brummet said. "We also hope to recruit other veterans to serve as volunteers in the program. Veterans can relate to one another."
John Brummet, the program instructor, is also a veteran.
"He will also be able to relate to veterans on their level," Jeanne said. "He was also injured in service."
The idea of equine therapy is not a new one. The Brummets have been working with challenged children in the bi-county area for some time.
"The gait of a horse is similar to the gait of a human, so riding a horse mimics those movements and trains the brain in what it needs to know," said Jeanne.
"When my son was discharged from the military, he brought a friend home who had suffered two traumatic brain injuries that resulted in both long- and short-term memory loss as well as the loss of use in his left arm," Jeanne continued. "After seven months, he had regained nearly 80 percent of his memory and is now married and living independently with his family."
Jeanne said the Wounded Warrior Project, and the services offered to developmentally challenged children, were both family-driven programs.
"We also take a look at what the individual wants to change about himself," Jeanne said. "We focus not on just what a doctor recommends, but what the individual hopes to attain."
The program pays for up to 10 sessions for each veteran, but the Brummets are seeking outside funding to cover some of the gaps.
"It a veteran needs more than 10 sessions, we want to be able to offer that through scholarships," she said. "We don't want to stop because that individual is out of funds."
Veterans are referred to the program through the Veteran's Administration or a physician.
"We have had two referrals so far," Brummet said. "We look forward to working with area veterans and our local heroes."
For more information on the Wounded Warrior Project, call 417-325-4490.