Andrew and Sedina Rutledge have had their share of hard times and share a true loves story that books could be written about.
Andrew served in the U.S. Army being deployed and serving most of his military career in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Then he went onto working overseas and supporting the Military in several other areas such as Korea, Haiti, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Africa and Jordan.
Sedina grew up in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and had to live through the war in her home country. She worked in support of the U.S. Military when they arrived during the Peace Accord. Later, she went to Iraq in support of the U.S. Military in some of the most austere environments, and spent many nights dealing with up to 80 mortars and rockets dropped onto their camp.
Despite Andrew and Sedina’s hardships, there is a silver lining to their story. They met in a bunker out in the desert and now have two wonderful children together.
Upon returning stateside and dealing with everyday life, they both developed PTSD and looked to find ways to live and deal with it.
Andrew and Sedina both got involved with horses through a friend that ran his own Outreach using horses and equine activities to help Soldiers and Veterans with PTSD. After making several 6 hour one way trips, and seeing what horses can do for a person with PTSD or other life altering issues, they decided to do so on their own and closer to home.
After 3 years of hard work and determination to build and develop their dream, Equine Heart Healers Ranch was born. They now pay it forward and let others benefit from their lovely horses and Ranch.
The Equine Heart Healers Ranch offers single day visits or programs that cover many areas of Horsemanship. Starting with Groundwork and how to interact with the horses, to mounted riding. Just spending time around the horses and the Ranch brings peace within yourself. As the saying goes out here, “Horses breaking down barriers one visit at a time”.
Equine Heart Healers Ranch has a lot to offer Veterans, Soldiers, First Responders and Families. The goal is to help you connect with our horses through groundwork and mounted riding to build confidence. This bonding experience in a natural country setting allows you to forget about life for a while, learn about horses, and more about yourself along the way.
We are staffed by very dedicated volunteers and are privately funded by donations.
Andrew and Sedina Rutledge know firsthand the life shattering trauma and hardship experienced by those with PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Because of their own personal journey resulting from the war in Iraq, Equine Heart Healer’s Ranch was borne. The Ranch presents an option of hope and healing for all kinds of people.
While pain is universal to all of us, certain kinds of pain create alienation, distrust and recurrent visions and nightmares that are unimaginable. Similar feelings of separation and isolation are also common to those with head trauma, varying degrees of autism, depression, anxiety, and those with distressing physical limitations.
What is wonderful about equine therapy is the beautiful nature of the horse. Just being in their presence is known to establish unusual bonds and trust. They are highly sensitive animals capable of mirroring emotion and speaking to the heart that cannot be uttered by words.
Animal therapy is proven to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and cortisol levels. It raises the “bonding hormone”—oxytocin — known for raising mood and feelings of connection.
Caring for a horse, whether brushing, grooming, feeding or riding, is known to boost self- confidence, emotional regulation, empathy and personal engagement. It helps one feel alive and engaged.
Equine Heart Healer’s Ranch exists to provide a means of restoration and transformation for those whose need goes beyond the four walls of talk therapy, a classroom, or a clinic. It brings the soothing magnificence of nature into the hearts, minds and souls of those who come here. It lightens the load of their pain and estrangement and refocuses them on what is redeeming about life.
We so welcome you to come and be a part of our outreach here. Or perhaps your role is to give the gift of supporting our nonprofit so that others can find new life. Either way, we welcome you!