The Loudoun Therapeutic Riding Equestrian Center Hosts Military Families For A Day Of Health, Wellness, Fun & Togetherness!

“It was fun to come and spend the day as a family, and focus on each other instead of always focusing on me. I haven’t connected with my wife and kids like this for years. This was a great idea and worth the drive.”

“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”

Winston Churchill

No truer words have possibly been spoken and, if you choose to argue that point, there are nearly 150 military family caregivers and family members who may push back.

“I’m so glad you decided to host a family event, where we could all come out and participate together. We need time to reconnect as a family and this has been wonderful.”

On a glorious Saturday in August, wounded warriors along with their families headed to the Loudoun Therapeutic Riding Equestrian Center in Leesburg, VA, for a full day devoted to health, wellness, fun, and togetherness. And what a time they had! There were traditional hay rides and horse-themed arts and crafts projects, but the standout activity for children was finger painting…..on a live pony. We aren’t sure who enjoyed the benefits of this stress reducing activity more, the kids or the pony! While the children were busy making ponies from pool noodles and racing them against one another, tossing horseshoes and making horse themed ornaments, the adults participated in a couples mini-retreat. They spent an hour together among the horses, learning about aspects of temperament that are “wired in” from birth and how these influence our relationships and behavior. They used this time to connect with one another as well and many laughs were heard ringing out from the stables. Also, there were equal moments of quiet connection taking place as deeper understanding and appreciation of both caregiver and wounded warrior was reached. This one of a kind experience will not be soon forgotten.

As a closing activity, participants were encouraged to write letters to themselves to record memories and set intentions for home. The sealed letters will be sent and received in 1-3 months time, reminding families of the experience and the lessons they learned that day.

Over 350 volunteer hours were donated to ensure this day would be an overwhelming success. Free bus transportation, provided by DC Tours, made the trip from Fort Belvoir to Leesburg uncomplicated and pleasurable for families. Mission BBQ generously provided a true Southern, finger-licking lunch for everyone!

Blue Star Families wants to thank our partners and supporters for making this day possible: 

Wounded Warrior Project

Veterans United Foundation

Elizabeth Dole Foundation

Loudoun Therapeutic Riding

Learn about future programs like these, volunteer or join Blue Star Families today.

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