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Upstate non-profit connects veterans to a special kind of help

We talked to Guiding Reins about their program and how it is helping veterans recover
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 3:47 PM EDT
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CAMPEBELLO, SC - A non-profit, Guiding Reins, is connecting veterans to the help they maybe didn’t even know they needed.

Using their four locations, the non-profit helps veterans face PTSD, anxiety, and depression. A partnership where the horse and veteran have to work together in order to achieve the 16-week course.

“When I first started the program, I had my doubts, big time,” Troy Bellah said.

Diane Powell, the founder, said is taking two passions of helping people and horses and using them for the greater good. The services are free to veterans.

“It still to this day amazes me how I can be in in a session and see everything that goes on, and watch the horses pull people things out of people to get people to bring it up and address it,” Powell said.

Powell said a lot of the training and bonding between a person and a horse comes from being out of the saddle. The program teaches basic equestrian skills and simultaneously taps into mental health.

Bellah, who was a skeptic of the program, said he tells every veteran he meets about it. He never realized what an impact it would have on his daily life and frame of mind.

“With compassion, it becomes camaraderie because you are putting yourself out there. And then, all of a sudden, it becomes, like we were saying, we’re family. I can actually sit down, and I don’t feel bad if I have to cry in front of them, I can be comfortable with that,” Bellah said.

For more information on Guiding Reins, visit https://guidingreins.org/