Horse Power for Veterans

Warriors in Transition

SMART is providing monthly Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) workshops for veterans from the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System at no cost to the veterans. The Warriors in Transition program was developed by Terry Murray (veteran and entrepreneur) to assist both active duty military and recent veterans as they navigate the challenges of repeated deployment cycles, as well as their eventual transition back to civilian life. The workshop employs many Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) exercises focusing on leadership, team building and physical and emotional well-being. The goal is to impart emotional intelligence competencies while conducting specifically designed, ground-based exercises with the horses. Doing so cultivates creativity, adaptability, resiliency and positive communications skills. These skills not only promote personal growth and development, but are also skills employers are looking for in the private sector.

The monthly workshop is aimed at empowering our veterans, encouraging them to fully leverage the skills and attributes they developed during their service as they transition back to civilian life and the workforce.

By partnering with our horses, veterans learn to ask for space and set healthy boundaries, lead without force, relax without losing awareness, and rebuild trust. Our wonderful horses, along with SMART’s beautiful and peaceful farm, provide an opportunity for veterans to have a truly transformational experience.

For more information or to provide support for the Warriors in Transition program, please email us at smart@smartriders.org or call SMART at 941-322-2000.

Buddy with Vet in Back (Resized to 400)

And a special THANK YOU to the American Legion Riders Chapter 24 who provide lunch to the veterans and volunteers at each monthly session! It is truly appreciated!

vets 1
vets 3a

Program Supporters

We thank the following individuals and organizations for their generous financial support of this program and for supporting our area veterans:

  • The Norman and Phyllis Siskel Donor Advised Fund of the Community Foundation of Sarasota
  • Overwatch Alliance
  • American Legion Riders Chapter 24
  • Women's Outreach Ministry of the Church of the Redeemer
  • Misdee Wrigley and James Mather Miller Charitable Foundation
  • American Legion Riders, Post 309
  • Jane Drake
  • Phyllis Siskel
  • James and Kimberly Kolls
  • Candi & Dean Russell
  • American Legion Kirby Stewart Post 24
  • Lakewood Ranch Elks Lodge 2855
  • Tropicana EnAble Team
  • Lakewood Ranch Women's Club
  • Diana & Bob Staab in Memory of Doug Reese
  • VFW 10141 Auxiliary
  • Tropicana Valor Group
  • Sisterhood for Good
  • American Legion Auxiliary, N. Manatee Unit 309
  • Lisa Reese
  • Elkettes of Bradenton, BPOE #1511
  • Cassidy Family Foundation
  • Church of the Annunciation
  • Universal North American Insurance Company
WIT - Sterling Vet + Dog (Resized to 350)
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