Horse therapy ranch in Brooksville helps veterans with PTSD, people with disabilities

BROOKSVILLE, Fla. — There is a lot of healing being done at the Emerald M Therapeutic Riding Center.

“It’s a beautiful thing,” says Lisa Michelangelo, the non-profit’s leader.

The 20-acre center in Brooksville serves everyone from veterans coping with PTSD to children and adults with disabilities.

They all come to bond with the horses. To ride. To find some peace.

“I am so relaxed right now,” says Paul, a Marine from New Port Richey, as he brushes a beautiful Gypsy Vanner horse named Delcassian.

Paul is with Veterans Alternative, a local organization that aids combat veterans.

A lot of the success at Emerald M is due to the ability of horses to read human emotions.

The healing also occurs for the people running the center.

Though Lisa and her family help others get over pain, they are currently dealing with their own adversities.

Some riding center's horses died during a recent lightning storm.

The tragic loss occurred just after Emerald M moved to a bigger property, which only compounded the financial challenges of running a non-profit.

“It was a transition for all of us," says Lisa. "But we are coming out of it good."

The Emerald M Therapeutic Riding Center welcomes donations. To learn how to contribute, visit emeraldmtherapeuticridingcenter.org.

For more information on Veterans Alternative, go to veteransalternative.org.

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