The Sanders' family at Serenity Equestrian Center serve Veterans and their families for FREE out of a conviction to give something back to those who have and are doing so much for our country.
Gayla grew up as a dependent in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. She was living in Hawaii during the time some of the POW's returned. At only 13 years of age, she had the honor to welcome POW's as they flew in to Hickam Air Force Base on their way home. She remembers the reverence and respect shown these men. So many of them had not gone voluntarily. To this day, she holds strong compassion for all veterans.
Veteran's families are included in the program because Gayla also knows what it is like to be the child of a war veteran and has witnessed the pain and worry of her mother raising three children alone. They too, are sacrificing for us.
As a family, the Sanders' have a secondary passion - sharing their horses with others. Years ago, they experienced tremendous joy in giving "Giant Pony Rides" to the public. At the time, they did this by volunteering for non-profit groups. The Sanders' horses have earned thousands of dollars on behalf of such organizations.
The direct purpose for Serenity Equestrian Center's Equine Therapy program is to encourage the restoration and replenishment for the mind and soul. Too often those who have no visible injuries are considered "untouched" by war's effects and therefore, have no need for support. Serenity's program is specifically designed to make a positive impact upon the hearts and minds of such individuals and their families.
Each visit with the horses is arranged to accommodate the specific interests of the veteran and their family. The Serenity equine team is actively involved in recognizing and addressing the emotional needs of each individual. Most often, both the horse and the guest choose each other.
Depending upon the experience and interests of each individual, activities may include grooming the horses, pony rides, and participating in the Parelli 7 Games. Some guests prefer to remain in the wagon and let the horses come to them.
For those who are interested, EFT coaching is also available.
Upon leaving Serenity Equestrian Center, one should feel lighter in spirit and filled with happier thoughts.