—March 16, 2020

Congressional Horse Caucus was a huge successCongressman Andy Barr participates in Eagala session with Kentucky-based Veterans

Lexington, Kentucky— Eagala recently celebrated their 20th Anniversary with record-breaking attendance during their Vision 360 conference, February 26-29. Over 630 people, Eagala members and those passionate about equines from across the U.S. and 20 other countries, gathered to network, learn, and celebrate the past 20 years while creating clarity for the next 20 years in the rapidly growing Eagala Model approach. The Eagala Model combines licensed mental health professionals, qualified equine specialists, and horses to effectively work with clients addressing mental health issues.  

As part of the conference, Eagala was proud to host the Congressional Horse Caucus on Saturday, February 29th.  With the support of the American Horse Council, Eagala CEO, Lynn Thomas, hosted members of the Congressional Horse Caucus who attended a live, hands-on demonstration and a panel discussion at the Lexington Convention Center.

Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY 6)

Thousands of pounds of dirt were brought in to transform the basement of the Lexington Convention Center into a working indoor arena. Following the demonstration, the panel met about the impact of incorporating horses in mental health services for veterans with PTSD and re-entry transitions, suicide prevention, substance abuse recovery, rural mental health issues, and other mental health needs in which horses can have a positive impact on treatment outcomes.

In attendance was Horse Caucus Co-chairman, Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY 6), a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs who, prior to the Caucus, participated in an Eagala session with Kentucky-based veterans. Representative Barr has been a strong advocate for this method to improve the lives of veterans and horses, including retired racehorses. He has led legislation funding equine-assisted services for mental health issues through the Veterans Administration Adaptive Sports Grant, and co-sponsored the IMPROVE Well Being for Veterans Act (H.R. 3495)—a veteran suicide prevention bill that provides grants to community organizations that interact with veterans who may not seek care at the VA, which includes access to equine-assisted services.  

Invited to participate in the panel were members of the Congressional Horse Caucus, leaders in the horse and equine-assisted services industries, and veterans and others who have benefited from these services. The Caucus was moderated by Eagala Legislative Director, Ellen Stroud. Please visit https://www.eagala.org/conference for more Eagala conference information.

Eagala is revolutionizing and setting the global standard in the world of equine-assisted psychotherapy and personal development. With over 2,500 certified members in 40 countries, Eagala is changing the way mental health professionals help their clients by providing a comprehensive certification process and member support network. Partnering with likewise Eagala Certified equine specialists, these two professionals team up with the horses to help clients discover solutions for themselves in a safe and experiential therapy environment. Eagala, serving society by making a positive impact in the lives of people and horses. For more information, visit Eagala.org.