Reservist Helps Treat PTSD With Equine Therapy

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Tanesha Fierro, an aviation resource manager assigned to the Air Force Reserve’s 34th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, spends one night a week at the Norris Penrose Events facility here volunteering with an equine therapy program designed to help veterans and active-duty service members overcome their post-traumatic stress disorder by working with horses.

In 2016, Fierro was volunteering with a therapeutic riding program for children with disabilities when she was approached by another volunteer who asked her if she would be interested in a similar program working with soldiers and airmen suffering from PTSD. “Any time there’s an opportunity to help someone, I’m there,” she said. “I was just honored and excited to get involved in another equine therapy class.”

During an equine therapy session, patients spend time grooming and performing simple exercises with horses. As a volunteer, it’s Fierro’s job to ensure the safety of both horse and patient.

“Horses are such special creatures,” Fierro said. “They can sense if you’re hiding something, and people with PTSD seem to be guarded. The horses pick up on that and won’t cooperate until that shield comes down, which is what makes this so effective.”

Connecting With Service Members

As an Air Force reservist, Fierro brings a special…

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