Gaining a horse’s trust isn’t always easy.
Of course, a relaxing brush doesn’t hurt.
But sensing a genuine peace in someone is something these animals have a knack for.
“They pick that up and they want to be a part of the herd. They want to be a part of what you’re doing.”
Jeremy Harrell says, for some veterans returning to civilian life, finding that inner harmony can be tough.
“I just don’t want guys to feel alone. I know a lot of times when you get out of service, you feel like you’re kind of on an island by yourself.”
So Harrell decided to start the Veteran’s Club.
It allows those who’ve served in the military to hang out together, be themselves and, if needed, use the healing power of horses to deal with any issues they may be facing.
“They can bring calm into a person’s life. Just being around them, brushing them, working with them.”
And, it turns out a love of veterans in the Louisville area were looking for just that- a sense of calm and camaraderie.
Harrell founded the group with a handful of members in November and now has close to 600.
And it’s not all about the horses.
They hold other outings as well.
“Out here, what we’re doing today. I mean, the horses are the bonus, but really what we’re trying to accomplish is say what you want to say, speak freely on whatever’s going on.”
Something Harrell says he hopes will help those struggling with PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, or depression.
And in the end, it sounds like it isn’t just those Harrell invites to the far that are healing from its charm.
“The flip side of me helping veterans is them being out here helps me.”