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Equine therapy helping first responders

Posted at 6:56 PM, Sep 22, 2022

A therapy farm in Scottsdale is using horses to help police and firefighters.

Hunkapi Farms is offering free equine therapy to first responders and the military.

"It's something we've become extremely passionate about," said Terra Schadd, the group's executive director.

She said the stress and exposure to traumatic events has had a negative impact on their nervous systems.

"And every time they do that you are storing that traumatic exposure inside the system instead of releasing it," she added.

Schadd told ABC15 they've helped over 140 first responders and veterans with equine therapy.

She said the horses can teach people how to connect.

According to researchers, firefighters and police are five times more likely to suffer from PTSD or depression than other people.

"As soon as I come in the gates of this property, it's almost like — I got an hour or two of peace where I can just mellow out," said Chris Burrows, a retired firefighter and paramedic.

He told ABC15 he struggled with PTSD but the horses have helped him deal with his emotions.

He said he hopes other first responders that need help will reach out.

"And this is a great resource they can tap into without feeling obligated but allowing them to see what works for them, to help understand their bodies better," he said.

For more information about the free equine therapy for first responders visit Hunkapi Farms' website.