Charlie Five's mission is to provide Veterans with purpose and perpetuate growth of equine assisted therapy programs while raising awareness for organizations that challenge and inspire our nation's combat Veterans.
Equine assisted therapy programs are growing because they work. From Veterans with PTSD to children with developmental disabilities, lifelong horse lovers already know that once a horse gets a hold of your soul it's almost as if the rest of the world goes away.
Running a nonprofit organization can be extremely tough because many run on a limited budget with limited staff. Unless your program is developed to teach people to be trainers, why not let us do the work?
When our founder, Jeremy, returned from his last deployment in 2006 he had a difficult time adjusting to life back in the states. He had spent over a year away from home and a good portion of that was spent providing security for convoys in Iraq. Let's just say it left him rattled.
In 2010 he was honorably discharged and that is when he really had a difficult time. During his enlistment he had a purpose and his identity was clearly defined. People looked to him for leadership and guidance. He mentored soldiers and provided guidance and direction. When his enlistment ended, that seemed to come to a screeching halt.
It took a few more years before Jeremy realized just how bad of shape he was in. He was depressed and began to withdraw from society, to the point where going to the grocery store was incredibly tough. He avoided things he used to enjoy and depression started taking over and he began to put together a plan to take his own life.
Jeremy applied to an intense, 3 phase program that put him back in the saddle and working with horses. Having grown up around horses, it was a comfortable reminder of how capable he was. He began to realize that he was not broken and the horses were looking to him for leadership and guidance. He began to thrive and move forward, knocking down barriers that once kept him withdrawn.
Jeremy completed the program after spending a month in Wyoming as an apprentice with a horse trainer. During the month he built a solid foundation in horsemanship while carefully and diligently working on building his confidence.
As Jeremy returned to New Mexico he feared that if his work and interaction with horses stopped, he would surely regress to where he was before. After lots of discussion with his wife, Rose, they decided to start a program where he could put to use the gift he had been given and pay it forward to help other people.
Charlie Five has evolved to become a program that uses Jeremy's experience as a model to serve other Veterans. The goal is to get horses to Veterans who have participated in equine therapy so they can continue their growth and forward motion on their own.