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June, 2016

"Boots on the Ground"
Peer to Peer support for our Veterans, Active, Reserves.

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 "newest Veteran therapy involves driving."
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Providing equine therapy to our Veterans, Active, Reserves, and their families, Surmounters of Texas, Inc. in Burleson, Texas is setting the gold standard by being "different". There is no cure for PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and other mental and physical challenges faced by our Veterans. But there is hope to help deal with triggers as well as providing peer to peer support through this type of equine therapy. According to those who participate in the Boots on the Ground program, it works. There is no riding in this therapy. It is all about hands on with newborn and very young foals, trail/obstacle in hand, and the newest excitement is driving. Veterans enjoy the release of endorphines, dopamine, and oxytocin through grooming and putting their hands on the horses. These are the feel-good chemicals that can help release stress and anxiety and cause a peaceful feeling in those who participate. This is different from riding therapies. Twenty two Veterans a day commit suicide and we have had several interventions with the horses stepping in to help stop this.

Insurance and other expenses for this 501(c)3 non-profit are 100% paid by the Gypsy Horse ranch owner, Linda Brown, and any and all help from private donations. Grant money seems impossible to secure. Additionally, once a year Surmounters of Texas hosts EQUINE TRAIL CHALLENGE at Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth. This is an ALL BREED (all equine welcome) competition. Last year we had Minis to Shire, Gypsy Horses to Welsh Cob, and Mules and more. This is different from riding therapies. This year this exciting event will be Oct. 14-15 and it will put the FUN in FUNdraiser! Costume competitions including Favorite Movie or Cartoon character on Friday and STEAMPUNK on Saturday, Oct. 15, as well as many never seen before cRaZy obstacles. Stall decorating and Steampunk pumpkin decorating competitions are just a part of the excitement. Way too much fun and photo opportunities for the good of our Veteran program. www.facebook.com/EquineTrailChallenge for much more ongoing info. Entry forms available August 1 and ending submissions on September 30 or when we are full. (Last year we had a waiting list and disappointed a few people.) It is also free to come watch and cheer on equine participants as well as Veterans who also participate. Please also consider providing Silent Auction items to help with our fundraising and also gift cards we can use for prizes.

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 a peaceful gathering of Veterans and volunteers enjoying new gypsy Horse filly a few days old
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Russell Feed has provided us $500 in gift cards as well as Nancy's Farm and Ranch also providing gift cards and amazing Silent Auction items. Texas Paint Horse Club has chosen our event as their charitable contribution for the year and is providing volunteer labor to our event. This list is just to name a few, we are so very grateful to those who help us as we could not provide this service alone for our Veterans. It takes a village.

If you cannot attend this exciting event, please consider helping us help our Veterans by sending tax deductible donations through PayPal or credit cards or send us a check. Info at 817-297-9292 or email at GypsyHorses@Live.com and we'll send you more info on how to do that. Without help from private donations, the continuation of this therapy will be difficult to finance. www.Surmounters.com or www.facebook.com/Surmounters for more info on our therapy program.

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