This whole experience has had infinite value, not just in my life, but in so many. Since our grand opening, I have watched individuals walk through those barn doors one way, and walk out another way. It has been so moving to watch the encounter between human and horse, and a language manifest with no words. The beauty Unbridled has is endless and limitless and to be able to realize it and live it has changed everything for us.
We officially launched our Heroes Project with Community Hope five weeks ago with 5 brave combat Veterans. Mark and I anxiously awaited the first day… not really knowing what to expect, nor how our Mustangs would react. We were not your typical equine therapy program and we also were not using school horses. We were simply two individuals that understood where these men were coming from. We knew we were taking a chance by using our herd, who were still working through their own trauma. Yet we knew that the trauma both man and horse had endured was the connection they would be able to feel between one another. If they could break through the barrier together, they could feel the magic. I knew our Mustangs would be stubborn and reluctant, but I also trusted them one hundred percent with these men. I knew that these individuals would have to go to their very soul to essentially speak to the horse. There are no words when you talk with a horse, it is more of an energy transfer, a feeling you get, an understanding. Our plan was that each week, we would do an hour of groundwork with our heroes and their Mustang. The second hour we would do some sort of mindful art as I like to call it. We were blessed to have Divine Sistarhood offer their services to us at no charge. They came out and taught our heroes breathing techniques and Qi-gong. We did this alongside our horses, it was pretty amazing.
As the weeks went on, we incorporated art and obstacles that were challenging to both our Mustangs and our heroes. We built relationships with these guys and learned a lot from them that will shape the program as we move forward. This coming Tuesday is our last session before the hot summer months. The whole experience has been incredible.
While we have been focused on developing the best program we could, we also worked hard on the business elements of Unbridled. We knew that in order to thrive we needed the expertise of business minded individuals. How as a 501-c3 non-profit do we market what we are doing? How do we compete for grants and money alongside so many others? It is a scary thought when you jump all in, with a few dollars in your pocket, but faith so huge and a belief in what you are doing that nothing else could parallel. All I can say is that this is a process. Each day we learn something new, we encounter brilliant people and through this we are building an incredibly strong foundation of what The Unbridled Heroes Project is… what it means beyond the words. We are so thankful to everyone who has been following our journey, to our friends, family and supporters, THANK YOU. A special thanks to the team behind unbridled: Cat, Sheila, Pam, Jack, Monika, Elizabeth, Jen, Yasminka, John, Rose, Christina, Jess, Nick, Rhi, Nancy, Matty, Meghan and Kevin Henry…. words will never express my gratitude toward you all… In the end, be beautiful and Unbridled. Practice empathy and compassion daily. Wake up in a grateful state… be your own beautiful. Much love, Amy & Mark