Los Alamos County resident Sabrina Larsen, right, stands with 17-year-old horse Finn Monday, before donating the horse to the Healing America’s Heroes program, a therapy program for veterans. From left, Dan Gandee, a fly tying instructor for the program, Eddie Crain, the founder of the program, and Don Brooks, received the horse.
Los Alamos resident helps veterans through horse therapy program

Two weeks ago, Sabrina Larsen visited the North Mesa Stables with one of her friends. Her friend, who is a veteran, was brushing his horse and telling her how much it helped him deal with the after effects of war, she said.

“It kind of resonated with me,” Larsen said.  

Then, when she read an article in the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s “Community Connections” newsletter about a program to donate horses to a therapy program for veterans, she decided to look into it.

A Los Alamos County resident and horse owner, Larsen contacted Healing America’s Heroes, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that funds fly fishing trips and a horseback riding program for veterans suffering from mental and physical injuries they obtained during their service.

Larsen’s own father-in-law, Richard Larsen, and her father, Thomas Granich, are also veterans. So, the program was a good match.

One of the program’s board members, Don Brooks, said it is amazing what the program has done for the veterans that have gone through the program. Many of them come to the program without any confidence and depressed, affected by post traumatic stress disorder and physical injuries they’ve suffered during combat.

So far, 46 veterans, men and women, have gone through the program.