Saddles after Service program offers veterans outdoor therapy

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Wildwood Hills Ranch, located near St. Charles, Iowa, covers acres of wooded and open land, with an indoor horse arena. This non-profit organization is offering a free program for Iowa veterans and currently serving military personnel wishing to use the horses at their beautiful camp.

The program is called Saddles after Service, and it allows veterans and active-duty military members to engage in a relaxing horsemanship program, with individual mentoring and an opportunity to engage in healthy activity.


The free program includes at least four sessions of one to two hours. Their schedule is flexible, and the program may be able to assist with transportation to Wildwood Hills Ranch.

Saddles after Service includes physical, occupational and emotional growth for participants. Working with horses can increase communication and stress management through activities such as grooming, feeding and riding.

Wildwood Hills Ranch has a history of offering intentional, evidence-based programming. The equestrian staff engages in ongoing training to increase their skills in working with persons of all ages who have been traumatized or injured.

For the Saddles after Service program, Wildwood Hills has partnered with Turning Point Evaluation Inc., a Winterset counseling agency. For more information on this grant-supported program, contact Health Navigation at 515-993-3750.

Ann Cochran is the health navigation coordinator in the Dallas County Public Health Department.

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