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Written by: Adam Grushcow
Published on: 05/03/2022
Smart Earth and Hope for Heroes have had an ongoing relationship where we have been lucky enough to make a difference in the lives of veterans dealing with PTSD.
Hope for Heroes provides veterans who are often suicidal and struggling to cope after returning from military service and pairs them with horses where they take part in therapeutic horsemanship lessons. This program has seen amazing results and promising new research suggests that veterans can show remarkable improvements after just 6 to 8 weeks of equine lessons. Hundreds of these veterans are stating unequivocally that "their" horse saved their lives, from suicide and chronic depression, as they search for nontraditional solutions to help them overcome despair.
When we heard about this beautiful cause we were so moved to hear about the difference our product had made in the health of the horses helping these veterans. This story really touched us all here at Smart Earth and we found it to be extremely powerful.
We hope you enjoy the full story from Horse for Heroes founder, Debbie Fisher, as well as some pictures she was nice enough to share with us. We've also included a link below where you can donate to their cause.
"Many times these men and women are very suicidal, and these horses literally do save their lives. So one horse in particular here is Root Beer. This is my late husband, Colonel Fisher's horse, who passed away in 2006. He has played a very important part in the process of the healing of these veterans."
"Two years ago, Root Beer was diagnosed at the age of 26 with Cushing's disease and suffered a case of laminitis. Once we got him healed up, he went back to work helping his veterans. But in the fall of 2020, he started stumbling, which is a definite safety issue for the veterans that I have here in the program."
"We were looking for something to help Root Beer. We went ahead and we put the entire herd on Smart Earth Camelina Oil, and the changes that happened were miraculous. Root Beer here, his joint issues were lessened. He stopped stumbling. He acted like a young horse again. Our other horses in the herd, we had ulcer issues that seemed to just disappear. We had other ones with skin allergies that they're just didn't have once we put them on the camelina oil."
"This is Fred. Fred has saved more veterans from committing suicide than any other horse here in the program. He picks the most suicidal veterans to work with. Because of this, Fred suffers from ulcers. Smart Earth Camelina Oil has played a huge part in the healing of this horse. Besides having ulcers of working with veterans that have post traumatic stress, he also has navicular disease. I am just absolutely amazed at the difference the camelina oil has made for Fred. We have still over 22 veterans a day here in our nation committing suicide, and so our program is extremely valuable to these men and women that have served our country."
"Fred was featured in a short documentary called Riding My Way Back that shared the story of a airman that was on hourly suicide watch. The military had tried all sorts of different programs with him and nothing had worked. So the physician sent Aaron to us and to Fred. Fred actually picked him out. Within two short months of him working with Fred, he actually came up to me one day and handed me a letter. I asked him, I says, "Well, what's this?" And he said, "It was my suicide letter, and I don't need it anymore because of this horse."
"These horses are the backbone of this program, and we need to keep them as healthy as we possibly can. I really appreciate Smart Earth Camelina Oil and what it is doing for our equine therapists here at Hope for Heroes Horsemanship Center."
Debbie Fisher - Founder of Hope for Heroes