In the newest special in Military Channel’s Coming Home initiative, original “horse whisperer” and American renaissance cowboy Monty Roberts works with three veterans of the Iraq war, each of whom suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The result is nothing short of magic.
Through an innovative yet experimental approach to coping with PTSD, Roberts shares his lifetime of experience and insight in non-violent training as he gently coaches each veteran to read the silent language of horses and reach the point of breakthrough, or “Join-Up,” the moment at which a wild horse will trust and accept human contact. It is an emotional and striking metaphor for how these soldiers can work through and cope with their debilitating depression and anger.
“The impressive, unique work that Monty Roberts has pioneered, using untrained horses as a therapeutic tool for veterans who are trying to work through anger and depression is absolutely inspiring. We are honored that Monty and the veterans allowed us to document their deeply personal stories,” said Henry Schleiff, president and general manager of Military Channel, Investigation Discovery and HD Theater. “All too often we forget about the after effects of combat and, accordingly, since Military Channel is the only destination dedicated to honoring the U.S. armed forces, we are proud to showcase this special as part of our ongoing salute to our returning troops.”
Each of the three remarkable veterans profiled has struggled as a result of the trauma of war and each is experiencing difficulties interacting with their loved ones and going about their daily lives. In HORSE SENSE AND SOLDIERS, Roberts, who holds one PhD in Human Psychology and another in Behavioral Sciences for both humans and animals, only has these United States Army and Marine veterans for four short days at his Flag Is Up Farms in Solvang, Calif., where he demonstrates the deeply emotional healing power of establishing a trusting relationship with wild horses without the use of whips, restraints or physical violence.
Roberts uses his soft-spoken, nurturing style to show how to send signals through body language while interpreting silent messages from the horse establishing a trusting relationship that culminates in an affirming moment of partnership and trust between man and beast. After four transformational days, the soldiers ultimately better understand how to control their anger, confront painful memories, cope with real-life situations and move on with their lives and relationships.
HORSE SENSE AND SOLDIERS premieres Sunday, September 19 at 10 PM on Military Channel.