By Chantielle Hanson
Veterans enjoyed riding horses at a recent event organized by Los Alamos High School seniors Kaelin and Braeden Hanson.
Kaelin and Braeden, who are involved in NJROTC, decided in early summer to organize an event combining two of their passions, the military and horses. The Hanson girls have been involved with horses for years. They began volunteering at The GiftedHorse in 2019, and have remained involved in the program to this day. Both girls are passionate about the military as well, evidenced by their involvement in NJROTC.
Sunday Aug. 27 Kaelin and Braeden welcomed veterans to the Gifted Horse barn so they could enjoy the benefits of equine interaction. The horse interaction started on the ground with veterans being introduced to the horses and getting comfortable with them and learning their names. Annie and Eli, the horses, were very patient with their riders and the veterans loved them.
The progression then allowed veterans to ride the horses, starting a lead rope, followed by riding on their own as they were comfortable. All interactions and the progression was overseen by instructor Rachael Czmyrid. Veterans commented on how much they enjoyed the relaxed environment and getting to spend time with the horses and goats.
Some veterans reminisced about times in their past when they were able to ride horses and how much enjoyment they had.
Kaelin and Braeden hope to continue working with horses and the military in the future. They both aspire to be large animal veterinarians and hope to work with therapeutic riding programs in the years to come.
The Hanson girls would like to thank the instructor, Rachael Czmyrid; host of the event, the Gifted Horse operating under Lemonade Living; and the sponsor of the event Borrow A Baker. Finally they would like to thank the veterans who came out to the event, and to all of veterans they say “thank you for your service”.