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'Down the Stretch' Bond Between Horses, Vets a Win for Both

The place is located in Creston, Washington, about 50 miles west of Spokane. It encompasses 220 acres and is home to 30 retired Thoroughbred racehorses. It’s called Down the Stretch Ranch. Over the course of the last three years it has also been a place that has hosted approximately 100 U.S. military war veterans, all of them battling post-traumatic stress disorder, on stays ranging from two days to two weeks.
 
It’s a place for what’s known as equine therapy. In simple terms, the veterans are put in physical touch with the horses, and in ways and for reasons not easily explained, invisible healing can get done.
 
In the case of Down the Stretch, equine therapy helps men who have witnessed the horrors of war, engaged in battle on foreign soil, and brought home the resultant mental and/or physical wounds needing treatment. At many other farms and ranches across the country, equine therapy has been proven to help not only veterans, but those with physical or mental disabilities.