‘It’s a journey’: Marion County facility connects veterans battling mental health issues with equine therapy

Officials said they hope to expand their services in North Central Florida and rebuild people's lives.
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 6:26 PM EDT
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MORRISTON, Fla. (WCJB) - It’s more than therapy at Transformation Mending Fences in Morriston. The residential health facility is on a mission to provide mental health assistance through equine therapy.

“It helps our clients who may be dealing with anxiety or dealing with depression or dealing with trauma,” stated the Executive Director of the facility, Mike Ransaw. “To be in a serene surrounding, relaxed, and to be able to focus on bettering themselves and recovering.”

The 400-acre facility offers one-on-one and group therapy to veterans, first responders, and residents. After serving in Afghanistan, veteran Channing Moss said the program helped turn his life around after a traumatic incident.

“I was in Afghanistan. I had a rocket actually embedded impelled into my body,” shared Moss. “It was a lot of PTSD, physical trauma, also mental trauma from actually going through that even in my life.

Individuals are matched with horses which they learn to care for and work with. Officials said they aim to help those in need with not only equine therapy but also through art and music.

“Then you learn different techniques, skills, backing them in the rear, trotting them in a circle, building that trust,” shared Moss. “It’s amazing.”

Members said many who graduate from the program, have returned to mentor and pass their skills on to others.

“It’s a determination for self-help,” shared member Curt Slavin. “It’s a journey to say the very least. I’ve come here to better improve upon myself in the best way I could possibly do.”

Officials said they hope to expand their services in North Central Florida and rebuild people’s lives. For more information, visit Transformation Mending Fences.

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