What We Do

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.

Peace Reins is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that offers programming based on specific activities with horses (equine-facilitated learning or EFL) to military veterans. These activities are groundwork-based (non-riding) and focus on emotional agility and relationship skills, helping veterans better navigate their emotions and their impact on the relationships in their lives. The foundations of horse behavior and horsemanship are taught in order to facilitate extensive one-on-one time with horses. The program is provided at no cost to veterans in central North Carolina.

A vteran working with a horse establishing trust
veteran petting head of horse

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 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!

veteran grooming a therapy horse
veteran grooming a therapy horse
veteran connecting with a horse during therapy

The Model

Peace Reins is proud to offer programming created specifically for veterans at The Equus Effect. Co-founders Jane Strong and David Sonatore have designed and honed programs to help individuals build healthy authentic relationships with themselves and others 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.

veterans who graduated from the program

The Program

Peace Reins offers The Equus Effect programming, a proven curriculum, at its beautiful location in Chapel Hill, convenient to the Triangle and Triad areas, and to North Carolina military bases. The program covers the foundations of equine behavior, natural horsemanship and groundwork, providing ample opportunity for hands-on, intimate time with members of ClearWind Farm’s amazing herd. All sessions begin with a lengthy grooming exercise followed by work on psychoeducational work on emotional agility. The day concludes with veterans returning to the company of horses for various horsemanship exercises. Peace Reins offers veterans access to The Equus Effect-trained facilitators, and dedicated and passionate volunteers.

Help Us Help Them

Peace Reins relies on donations to fund our operations. All donations, no matter the size, are greatly appreciated. If you would like to help us help our veterans, please click the button below.

Peace Reins is a registered 501-C3 corporation. Donations are 100% tax deductible and non-refundable.