Helping veterans reconnect through horsemanship
“It was genuinely and unquestionably the best thing I have done in Australia. The entire Remount team exceeded my expectations.” – Veteran, John C.
One of Veteran Sport Australia’s (VSA) priorities is to build and strengthen partnerships with like-minded organisations across the country. We seek to engage with those that share our belief in the healing power of sport and the impact it has during the rehabilitation journey of veterans and their families. Remount is one of the organisations we have been fortunate enough to partner with in support of the Defence community.
Getting veterans ‘back in the saddle’
Remount delivers horsemanship programs, using equine therapy to support current and ex-serving veterans and their families who may be experiencing physical or mental health issues and injury as a result of their service.
Run exclusively by volunteers, this not-for-profit organisation provides all-inclusive two to four day programs held on a picturesque family farm. The 121 hectare property in Bowning NSW is owned and operated by Ben and Marina Maguire, with the support of their daughter Harriette, ringers, mentors and back-of-house staff. Everyone involved offers their time and expertise to better the health and wellbeing of guests.
Two incredible days for five lucky guests
VSA’s Veteran Engagement Specialist, Debbie Dimmock, has a longstanding relationship with Remount. As a result, VSA was recently invited to bring five guests to the June Remount Program held over two incredible days, with guests treated to an unforgettable experience.
Participants were supported throughout their entire stay by a team of skilled and experienced volunteers. Days were spent learning how to interact with their horse, building confidence whilst horse riding and learning to muster cattle. Evenings were spent working with leather, enjoying down time around the campfire, indulging in delicious home-cooked meals and simply getting back to nature.
Forgetting your worries, with an unforgettable experience
Leading Seaman, Raymond Joiner, took much away from his experience and is already planning his return to the farm.
“In a world of noise, distortion, chatter and chaos, there is a quiet harmony to be found on the hills of a small cattle property out west. I was spoilt with one of the best weekends away I have ever had during my service. Connecting with people, the horses and the land was something remarkable. A calm came over me that I haven’t felt in a very long time. I left that place feeling centred and focused. Free and without worries.”
From participant, to volunteer
Navy veteran, Liz Xu, said her experience with the team left her wanting to join them as a volunteer.
“Ushered onto Marina and Ben’s homestead as if we were long lost friends and staying in lush accommodation, the two days of horsemanship with our carefully chosen steeds were revitalising and wonderful. Not only that, the ‘ringers’ or other volunteers and our mentors were some of the most friendly and helpful people you can hope to meet. I would love to come back as a volunteer myself.”
Chomping at the bit to get involved?
Remount runs programs all year round dedicated to veterans and their families, but spaces are limited. If you feel like saddling up, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.