A charity is connecting veterans struggling because of mental health issues with horses to promote confidence. HorseHeard uses the animals based at the Merrist Wood College to create calmness and aid the veterans’ emotional wellbeing.

“[Veterans] have experiences deep inside them, which perhaps other people cannot understand,” said Andrew McFarlane, Chairman of HorseHeard. However, horses seem to be good companions for ex-personnel dealing with mental health issues. Jeffrey Stockwell served in the military for 16 years before an accident left him permanently blind.

Mr Stockwell and his dog Twyford are in their fourth week of the HorseHeard programme.

“If I am really calm, then they are calm,” said Mr Stockwell talking about his service dog and the horse.

“[The horse] just bent down and they gave each other a kiss,” he said with a smile. (Forces Network News, 25th March 2019)

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