Peace Reins horse

Peace Reins is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that offers equine-facilitated learning (EFL) to military veterans. These activities are groundwork-based and focus on emotional agility and relationship skills. No horse experience is required and there is no riding involved. The program is provided at no cost to veterans in central North Carolina.

Why Horses

Horses have been helping humans carry heavy loads since we domesticated them approximately 6,000 year ago. They have served us in agriculture, transportation, and entertainment. They have carried us through peace and through war, and though horses no longer accompany soldiers in battle, they can still serve by helping them improve the relationships in their lives and better manage their emotional energy.

Horses excel at this work for two reasons: their ability to teach present moment awareness (be here now), and their instincts as prey animals. They respond to threats, including predators such as humans, utilizing an enhanced gut instinct honed over the 55 million years of their existence as a species.

Humans, and veterans in particular, can often relate to the hypervigilance horses express when faced with potential threats. The kernel of wisdom horses offer is their ability to return to a relaxed state (go back to grazing) once the threat has passed. With horses, what you see is what you get; they offer the opportunity to build honest, non-judgmental relationships with clear communication. They both require and bring out the best in us!

Our Mission

To engage the power of the horse-human relationship through equine-facilitated learning (EFL) to assist veterans in their quest for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

Our Values

Meeting the needs of humans and horses with integrity, compassion and a heart-centered approach.

The Model

Peace Reins is proud to offer programming created specifically for veterans at The Equus Effect in Sharon, CT. Recently celebrating five years of veteran programming, Jane Strong and David Sonatore have designed and honed programs to help individuals build healthy authentic relationships using three important qualities of horses: the wisdom of the prey, the lack of hidden agendas, and transparent trust.

This programming provides veterans the opportunity to combine instructional information on emotional agility and how it occurs in horses (the goal is always to return to grazing), with exercises with the horses in both the round pen and around the farm to help them reconnect with their own true nature and inner wisdom. This reconnection allows veterans to navigate the world and their relationships in a more authentic manner.

The Program

Peace Reins offers The Equus Effect programming, a proven five-session curriculum, at its beautiful location in Mebane, convenient to the Triangle, Triad, and North Carolina military bases. A PATH International (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International) member center, we offer veterans access to The Equus Effect-trained facilitators, and dedicated and passionate volunteers.

The program covers the foundations of equine behavior, natural horsemanship and groundwork, providing ample opportunity for hands-on, intimate time with members of the Mighty Herd. All sessions, held once a week for five weeks, begin with a lengthy grooming exercise. Lunch and work on emotional agility follow. Finally, the day concludes with veterans returning to the company of horses for various exercises