Grassroots Non-Profit Bring

FAIRFIELD, IDAHO — Idaho Horse Therapy, Inc. hosted their first Re-Boot Camp® event the week of 28 September – 4 October and saw overwhelming success with a group of 8 veterans. By the final day, no participants reported less than 40% improvement in their psychological well-being, and some reported as much as 70% improvement (taking one to self-described full-recovery). One participant said of the experience, “In one week, I have gotten more relief than 20 years of therapy of the traditional style.” Founder and Executive Director of Idaho Horse Therapy Johnny Urrutia attributes the success to the unique four-modality approach, which incorporated Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP), Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Community Resiliency Model (CRM) and Tai Chi. Urrutia elaborates, “The EMDR gives them a way to unlearn reactions to their experiences and memories that aren’t useful to them, and relearn new ways for their brain to process them. EAP helps them to process those changes, and gives them a chance to learn metaphorically about what they may be doing that isn’t working in their human relationships. CRM is the educational piece: it helps them to understand what has been going on in their brains and bodies, and gives them a skillset that they can take with them to help anchor them when they return to the ‘regular world’ outside of the calm environment we’ve tried to provide them while they’re with us at Camp. Tai Chi is an integral part of that environment. It gives them a chance to look inside themselves for peace and self-love.” Though Idaho Horse Therapy is based in Shoshone, Idaho, Re-Boot Camp® was held at the Intermountain Christian Camp in Fairfield. Urrutia explained, “We are not religiously affiliated in any way, but it was a beautiful facility in a gorgeous setting. They took great care of us and we look forward to working with them again for the next Re-Boot Camp.” Urrutia hopes to have funding in place for another camp by Spring 2015. This first “pilot program” was funded entirely by Glanbia Foods, Inc., who contributed $40,000.00 to the nonprofit at their annual Charity Challenge in August. Idaho Horse Therapy Co-Director Karla Davis said, “We can’t overstate the role that Glanbia played in putting this together. We’ve had the dream in place for a long time, but to get the caliber of professionals that we knew we needed and to give these servicemen the experience we believe they deserve, we needed something to put the legs under us. Glanbia’s donation did that.” Davis went on, “If I hadn’t been there to be a part of this experience, I’m not sure I would have believed the difference we can make with this program. The statistics are staggering, and we’ve all heard them: veterans commit suicide at a rate of nearly one every hour. As many as 30% return from current military engagements with PTSD. It’s a tremendous feeling, not just believing but now knowing that we can do something about it.” Each participant was enthusiastic that they would recommend it to other veterans, one saying, “I feel every vet that I know should experience Re-Boot Camp.” The events rely entirely on private funding, and Urrutia hopes to host as many as 15 per year in years to come. “We planned on a dozen guys for the first one, and a few fell through. But if we had 12-15 each time from here on, and did 15 per year, we could be restoring over 200 lives every year. What could possibly be worth more than that?” Those interested in contributing to or participating in a Re-Boot Camp® should visit www.idahoREBOOTcamp.com. Video interviews and testimonials from staff and participants, and a full up-close look at Re-Boot Camp® will be available there by the end of October. ...

Kicking Off Our Re-Boots

While Johnny and I were putting Re-Boot Camp® together, we got A LOT of positive feedback (and help!) from friends and family. It occurs to me that all of you caring, wonderful people are probably interested in how things are going so far. First and foremost: some tremendous “Thank-you!”s are in order: Glanbia Foods, Inc. provided all of the funds that have made this first Re-Boot Camp® possible with the $40,000.00 contribution they made this year: this has paid to bring in the very best professionals in the modalities we are using (seriously…these mental health professionals are AMAZING), the facility, the food—everything. The folks at Rob Greene Twin Falls very happily volunteered a van to transport the veterans who came over from the Boise area. And last (for now) but certainly not least, the people at Intermountain Christian Camp—the facility we are using—have been completely wonderful. They have been accommodating and flexible and the food has been just fabulous. We are three quarters through our second full day and what an experience it has already been! We have eight men participating in treatment this week and each one of them has now had at least two sessions of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP); at least 3 hours of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), 2 hours of training in the Community Resiliency Model (CRM), 3 hours of Tai Chi/Qi Gong (pronounced “Chee- Gong”—so we’ve affectionately termed the combo specially designed for us by Sifu Donald Perry, “Tai Chi Gong”), half a dozen wonderful meals, a lot of great conversations, and countless cups of coffee. While the first evening and most of yesterday we had rain and overcast skies, we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day in the foothills than we’ve had today. The morning started with a vibrant double rainbow during our morning Tai Chi Gong, and now the sun is shining and several of the guys are out collecting firewood for tonight’s campfire. We’re all enjoying a little “down time” before dinner, having completed all of our sessions for the day. I wanted to share an awesome story from horse therapy today: Johnny and I asked the guys to move a horse from one end of the arena to the other…tail-first. For those of you who don’t know very much about horses, understand that though horses can see almost a full 360 degrees around their heads, they cannot see immediately behind or in front of themselves. So getting a prey animal to back up at the insistence of a super predator like a human requires no small degree of patience and leadership. After the guys had spent a little time trying their own solutions to the task (with varying levels of success), we ran through some leadership skills with them to improve their “luck.” One that we always stress is the importance of being assertive, without being aggressive. I’ve taught these contrasting traits at least 3 dozen times at this point in my career with Idaho Horse Therapy, and I’ve never had a client understand it as well as one of our veterans who said, “the difference between being assertive with someone, and being aggressive with them is that being assertive is saying ‘it’s about me,’ being aggressive is saying ‘it’s about YOU.’” Meanwhile, one man who has suffered from pain he had accepted as chronic since returning from his last tour felt such relief after an EMDR session this afternoon that this evening he went for a 4-mile hike. And the guys who collected firewood? He was among them. Truthfully, as much time and energy as I personally have put into helping Johnny put this thing together, I’m not sure I even completely believed what I would see here. But I trusted Johnny and I knew we had the best people in the various fields on-board, and I knew we had to do something. Just in Idaho, there are hundreds and thousands of service men and women going without real help. And now I am astounded to see the way these modalities are working together to really Re-Boot these 8 men’s lives. This is it, this is real. We can really provide this change for them. It’s an honor to be a part of something so truly transformative and I am completely inspired to turn this project into a self-sustained program, so that we can help more veterans more often. I’m off for now—the grub’s smelling too good to hold off another minute, but we’ll check in again soon. If you want to know more about our program, want to contribute so that we can hold more of these, or know someone who might be in need of Re-Boot Camp, please contact us: karla@idahohorsetherapy.com. ...

Thank You Glanbia!!

Glanbia Grants Local Nonprofit Funds to Help Struggling Soldiers “Re-Boot” TWIN FALLS,IDAHO- At its annual “Charity Challenge” event at the Blue Lakes Country Club on August 18, Glanbia Foods, Inc. announced its contribution of $40,000.00 to Idaho Horse Therapy, Inc. Idaho Horse Therapy (IHT) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization based in Shoshone. It gained some attention last year when the success of its program for the Fifth District of the juvenile justice system headlined newspapers throughout the Northwest. These funds from Glanbia, however, are for a new cause. Executive Director Johnny Urrutia explains, “We have worked with a number of local veterans struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder individually. It’s all over the news these days that veterans are committing suicide at a rate of nearly one every hour. I know we can help, and this money from Glanbia will give us a great start.” All of the Glanbia monies are being directed toward IHT’s new operations: Re-Boot Camps. These will be week-long intensive programs where veterans suffering from the effects of PTSD will come together for group and individual therapies of several modalities. IHT will provide the Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP), and will bring together experts in the fields of Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Community Resiliency Model (CRM) and Tai Chi to provide a balanced and thorough treatment program. Urrutia is proudest of one particularly unique aspect of these camps, “Well first of all, none of this is at any cost to the veterans, obviously. So, we’ll get them there and provide these services and teach them these skills that can help them find their way back to a sense of peace and well-being. But what’s most exciting is, they’ll bring a support person with them from home to learn these skills, as well. We know that we only have them for a week where circumstances will be controlled. When they get home, life will happen and things may get tough. After they leave Re-Boot Camp, they’ll have an ally back home who can communicate with them using the skills they’ll learn here. This could change everything: their lives, their families’ lives.” The story took to Facebook the afternoon of August 20th and within a matter of hours had over 2,000 views and 40 shares. In such a tumultuous time internationally, it seems everyone is excited to be part of spreading a little hope. The first Re-Boot Camp will take place September 28th through October 4th. For more information on PTSD, Idaho Horse Therapy, or how you can be involved, please visit: www.idahoREBOOTcamp.com.   ...