Empowering horses and humans for a brighter future
At Project ComeBack we believe in the powerful connection between horses and humans.
Our mission is to rescue horses, to patiently reeducate these horses, and connect them with people who have endured trauma, primarily veterans. From this experience we hope to help both horse and human develop tools that will improve their quality of life.
**We are a recognized 501c3 non profit charity**
A WORD ABOUT US
Project Comeback provides support for veterans as they process PTSD by involving mutually beneficial interactions between horses and humans. The goal of our program is to improve PTSD symptoms in veterans and create a space in which they can develop healthy coping strategies and interpersonal skills for real-world application. We accomplish this by combining mindfulness, applied ethology, and behavioral engagement with horses using principles of relational and trust theories as well as applied ethics.
Our focus is to help people step outside of themselves, to guide them in helping something bigger than themselves (physically and metaphorically), and as a result experience organic healing for themselves as they help a horse along a healing journey of its own. We put the horse first for this reason, and for the reason that any program offering "healing" cannot come at the cost of another being. Our horses are always willing participants, they have a say in what they do and we ask for their consent every step of the way.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
"My time with this horse was amazing. I was in fear as I never walked a horse solo but his demeanor and calmness insured me that this wasn't a task but an initial bonding of man and animal. My doubts and fears were immediately gone."
— Feedback from Summer 2019 Veteran participant
What We Do
We focus HEAVILY on the horse's healing. Our goal is to help our rescued horses overcome the traumas that they have endured before arriving at our sanctuary, whether mental, physical, emotional or a combination. We focus primarily on the horse's healing and do not call what we do "therapy", because we don't believe healing can happen for the person if they are on the defense. No one wants to feel broken. No one wants to feel like they need to be "fixed". Entering a program with the mindset of needing "therapy" seems to keep walls up, and in our experience these walls just further defer that healing. Instead, we share the story of the horse, not just as a living being, but as a prey animal. We share the traumas we know each horse has endured, and the traumas we can only assume they have lived based on their current behaviors, fears and aversions. Our horses vary in age and breed, some were feral while others are retired from their prior "career" in the horse world. Each has their own unique trauma, and therefore their own unique healing process.
Designed with horse and human in mind
Our program is offered as a 6-week course where 3-6 participants come to the farm for 2.5 hours one day a week for 6 consecutive weeks. We start each session with a mindfulness practice like yoga, then watch some videos from the Aiken Horsemanship Academy, and then spend time with the horses. This horse time includes mindful observation as well as peaceful, non forced interactions. The videos are general educational videos about horse psychology, personalities, body language, herd dynamics, and more. These allow participants to feel educated and prepared for the equine interactions that follow. We have two equine professionals as well as a licensed therapist present during our courses.
Engaging the Community
Interested in partnering with Project ComeBack or learning more? Please get in touch with us today to get involved in our cause.
"The horse is a great equalizer, he doesn't care how good looking you are, or how rich you are or how powerful you are, he takes you for how you make him feel."