VAN BUREN, Maine — Taking part in the WHOA project — Warriors Horses Of America — Caribou Maine veterans’ home residents visited horses and ponies in Van Buren for the third time this summer. They spent time handling and brushing horses, and buggy riding. They learned of the opportunity at a Veterans’ Benefits workshop at the veterans’ home in May when Nancy Dumond Violette and her husband Don Violette, USAF ret., owners of a small horse farm in Van Buren, invited veterans to visit the farm to learn to ride and-or to practice equine assisted learning.
Perfect Ponies Learning Center, a nonprofit organization in Van Buren, is open to veterans at no charge. Violette has 24 years of providing equine services for special needs children, adults and families, long background in special education, life skills coaching and equine assisted learning.
Violette said that veterans have a lot in common with horses, such as hyper-alertness and knowing what it’s like to fear for one’s life. Horses live in the moment and while engaged with humans, can help them find out how their behaviors and emotions affect those around them.
Violette said she wants to invite veterans to stop by to pet a horse, plan family outings, engage in equine assisted learning, learn horse care and riding, and take part in creating future programs.
The next WHOA Project Veterans’ Open House will take place 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, at the farm, 489 Main St. in Van Buren.
For information, 207-868 5324 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.