Horse Program Helps Veterans

(CNN) — In the past 15 years, Maj. Perry Jarmon has been deployed four times.

Today, he is part of a different kind of operation called Operation Free Ride. It’s part of a program called Horses4Heroes, a nonprofit organization made up of equestrian facilities nationwide, designed to introduce troops, veterans, first responders and their families to horses.

Brenda Randle owns one of these facilities. She ‘s been working with the animals for 30 years.

“Horses have a healing quality about them. They help you connect. They live in the moment. They don’t worry about yesterday. They don’t think about tomorrow,” Randle said.

Psychologists say this can help those vets who work with horses to cut down on their stress.

“Certainly we have seen the benefits in our own practice. That being involved at a horse farm, riding, being in nature has positive impacts on somebody’s mood, on their stress level,” said Corissa Callahan, Clinical psychologist at Shepherd Center in Atlanta.

For Maj. Jarmon, who does not suffer from PTSD, Operation Free Ride is a great way to be with family without any hassles.

“Out here this is all that we’re doing. We’re riding these horses. We’re taking care of the horses. We’re out here in nature, and there are not any other distractions around us,” Maj. Jarmon said.

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