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Horses and Heroes Traverse City Documentary

Horses and Heroes
Theresa Chaze

The planes and ships brought me back, but my soul was left behind.
No words could cure.
No arms could comfort.
No loved one could help me heal.
Who I was had splintered away.
I was a memory almost forgotten.

I walked from hell looking home, but I couldn’t find the way.
No way back.
No way forward.
I was lost in the land of despair.
They wanted me to be who I was.
That person didn’t live anymore

Across the field not far away, stood one who saw my wounds.
She did not speak.
She needed no words.
Yet she comforted my wounded soul.
She helped me see past the fear and the pain.
I found the path that led me home.

It has been known by many names. During the Civil War, it was called “Soldier’s Heart”. During World War II they called it “Shell Shock”. It has also been called “Combat Fatigue”. The current label is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PSTD.

In the past, it was down played. Sufferers were told to man up. They were medicated, but instead of healing the medication turned them into zombies. Many have tried Talk Therapy. Results were limited Most military personnel thought that only one who had lived through the experience could possibly understand the emotional and physically toil of war. Buddy therapy is an effective, but it is also limited by the number of veterans available.

Animal Assisted Therapy has been extremely effective for those who are physical and emotional challenged. It has become more widely used in cases of PTSD, especially in cases of veterans. Although almost any animal can be a healer, dogs and horses are the ones most commonly partnered with veterans. Dogs have the advantage of being accepted in both cities and rural areas. However, horses are known to better reflect the mood of the person handling them. This ability is helpful for the PSTD patient to learn how to recognize their own feelings. In this way, they learn how to retrain their mind and body reacts to stressors.

Bobbie Jean Kilgore is our host. She is a veteran, who serviced as a Marine and an Army Assistant Chaplin. She also has an extensive knowledge and history with horse. We will also be hiring vets for behind the cameras as crew and as part of the production team.

Founded in 2001, Charity Hill Ranch specializes in Traumatic Brain injury and Rehabilitation utilizing all the assets a farm and horse have to offer. Christine O’Connell is a PATH International Certified Instructor of 10 Years, and specializes in TBI as well as a Certified Brain Injury Specialist. Sarah Wilson is a Mental Health Specialist with Degree in Psychology and Education. She offers Tutoring and program planning at the ranch.

Horses and Heroes will create a greater awareness of Animal Assisted Therapy for civilians, military personnel, veterans, and their families. The goal is to create an understanding of how and why the therapy works, thereby giving those suffering from PTSD another therapeutic option

A semi-scripted documentary Horses and Heroes has hired a personable host, who has a diverse military background as well as experience working with horses. She will be chatting with the staff of Charity Hills Ranch and with some of the veterans as they share their personal stories. The goal is to show how therapy animals help military personnel and veterans come the rest of the way home.

We currently have a crowd funding campaign through Indiegogo. Although the full budget for the documentary is $125,000.00, we are seeking $8,000.00 USD for development and start up costs for Horses and Heroes. It will pay for the legal fees, business development, and the purchase of several pieces of equipment. It will also allow us to pay part of our location fees to Charity Hill Ranch. We are not offering any perks for the donations. Offering perks would force us to raise the extra funds to pay for them. We want to be able to use all the funds raised for development. We are also asking that you like our Facebook page at . If you are veteran or a family member of a vet, please share how an animal helped you or your loved one heal on our page. The campaign site is at

Horses and Heroes

Theresa Chaze
Cosmos Productions LLC

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