LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Horses4Hereos is a nonprofit ranch helping our veterans cope with the aftermath of combat. 

“I knew there was something missing, but it wasn’t anything I could describe,” said Jessica White, a Navy veteran and a volunteer at the ranch.

It took White 10 years to get back on a horse after returning home. 

“It was freeing, it made me feel so happy,” she said. 

That feeling of euphoria is something White wants all veterans to experience at a time when they may feel nothing at all. 

“They comfort you, they will bring you in like one of their own and protect you, and make you feel so much better,” White said.

Therefore, she said she is taking part in a three-day certification course in Equine Assisted Learning held by Greg Kersten, founder of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy.

“They start seeing they can do different things in order to keep themselves safe, just like the horses do in the wild,” Kersten said. 

Kersten is a veteran himself, and studies wild horses in Nevada. 

He said he watched how they fend for themselves and go through distress when separated from their heard, much like veterans transitioning from warrior life to civilian life.

“We are still working with Vietnam-era veterans, they have struggled more than people have realized,” he said.

All the horses at the ranch come from different backgrounds, just like our service men and women, and having that connection is so special for equine therapy. 

The three-day certification course brought in ranch owners, mental health professionals, and veterans from across the country to learn more about the power of a horse’s touch.