What is Ride Utah!
Nearly 1 in 4 active and retired military personnel exhibit signs of stress ranging from PTSD to depression. Each branch of the military has developed internal resiliency programs to increase psychosocial support and the ability to bounce back from stressors. Current research has shown clinically significant benefits from therapeutic horse activities with military personnel, veterans, and family members. Utah State University Extension has developed a therapeutic equine program called Ride Utah! that provides military personnel and their guest a 1-2-hour trail ride, lunch, and a professionally moderated group discussion focused on military family issues. Ride Utah! is hosted in each county by USU Extension and collaborates with community members and military support groups. The results from the participant completed surveys demonstrate that Ride Utah! is harnessing Utah’s natural beauty and resources into a successful program that is improving participant’s emotional wellbeing and strengthens communities.
How do I participate?
Ride Utah! is available to all military personnel, active or retired. We will soon be setting our summer schedule and will get the dates and places of all rides listed as soon as possible. As these dates become available chose which ride you and your guest would like to attend and sign up via the websites listed. As you sign up additional information will become available. Horses are selected for beginning riders, so don’t worry about your riding level, we will take care of you.
How can I help?
This is a wonderful opportunity for individuals to participate and help. We are anxious for help in any way. Below are a few suggestion of ways that we need help. If you have any other ideas please contact me.
- County offices are needed to lead out in organizing and sponsoring rides.
- Monetary donations
- Truck, trailer, or gas donations
- Licensed counselors with military experience
- Knowledge of advertising
- Horse donations (experienced horses only)
- Meal donations
- Volunteer time helping with meal and ride preparation, or other aspects of the ride unique to your situation and training.
- Offer to sponsor a ride with knowledge, lodging, or expertise.