Horse therapy program for veterans looks to expand

Tyrone, Blair County, Pa. - An organization that's all about helping veterans is looking for an extra helping hands now that they have a new facility.

Victory Therapeutic Horsemanship is a non-profit that provides free equine therapy for local veterans.

They moved in to a new space 6 months ago and are looking to offer more classes, but they need help. 

Daron Aukerman has been coming to Victory Therapeutic Horsemanship for the last year and a half.

He says therapy has made a difference in his life.

"There's always something to learn so it gives you a purpose, taking care of the horses," he explained. "It's good for my confidence, it's good for her confidence and it's just nice to come out here and know that I don't have to be worried.:

VTH is a program specifically geared towards veterans.

Director John Zanella says they want to offer more classes, which means more helping hands.

"It takes three good volunteers with them [the veterans] and they have to be trained up and prepared to do it. So just for a class of two, it takes about a dozen volunteers to get things going."

Zanella says they're also looking for some help at the barn, making it more accessible for veterans.

"Get a ramp in. a little seating area for them maybe a rest area or break are kind of thing as well, really a flag pole. It's one of those things we're always looking to expand and increase the things that we do."

Aukerman says the volunteers are the ones that make his therapy a reality.

"It's extremely important I know what the volunteers do behind the scenes and they make this place truly great because you come in and all you really have to worry about is you and the horse," Aukerman said. 

He says knowing volunteers have his back makes therapy that much more enjoyable. 

"They're there just to help us and make us more comfortable that's the most important thing of all of this it's just to be comfortable in a world we're otherwise not comfortable in."

Victory Therapeutic Horsemanship currently offers classes on Fridays and Sundays. Click here to learn more about Victory Therapeutic Horsemanship or email them at victoryhorsemanship@gmail.com. 


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