‘I have always been told to face my fears. Coming to HorseBack helped me do that. As someone who was caught up in the Hyde Park Bombings of 1982, whenever I saw a horse all I smelt was death and all I saw was destruction. So as you can imagine my first day there was very troublesome. Through the hard work of the guys who were with me I made it through day one. Although I must admit that by the time I returned in the evening to the Smiddy I felt like a broken man. In tears, butterfly stomach and trembling hands. I was physically sick and a wreck. At this point I began to realise that those around me understood how I was feeling. This was definitely a new experience, even for me. With their hard work as brothers and sisters and the dedication of Jock and Emma I made it through the week. Now I get to return as often as I like. They are all like my second family and helped me on a journey I would never have made without them. Thank you all.’
I have been going to Horseback since the beginning and having horses of my own and knowing how they helped me on my own recovery. I knew how they could help others in similar situations. Very proud to been a small part of the Horseback journey.
As part of my ALIVE journey with Veterans In Action I went to Horseback UK where the story of the racehorse and the soldier truly touched my soul to the point I felt something inside me ignite. I felt a belonging like I was the Leader of a Horse. I was overwhelmed by the bond and connection I had.with Nugget the horse and the staff there.’
‘Although I have a professional life, HorseBack allowed me to refocus my personal life. Like so many other guys who have been through the process with the white coat brigade it was great to find a place filled with kindred spirits who all had similar experiences. The staff offered the opportunity, support and location for us all to begin to pick up the pieces of our broken existence and to discover new brothers and sisters and become part of an amazing extended family. At the time when we have heard that the Smiddy is to be sold and we will lose our safe harbour I’m sure you will all join me in looking forward to new opportunities and experiences at the new site at Glen Tanar. So festive greetings to you all and I hope to see you all soon for more fun and games.’
This is the last of the testimonials we received this Christmas. It comes from a veteran who, after his first course, returned to HorseBack regularly as a volunteer. He has worked with other veterans and with the children who come on our youth courses. He also raises money for HorseBack by selling very beautiful pens and bowls which he makes himself. He is a very important part of the HorseBack fa…mily.