According to a Veterans Affairs Department analysis released in 2016, about 20 veterans die each day from suicide, but there are so many different programs that have been created to help veterans and their families with the hope of bringing that awful number down.

Soldiers and Saddles is one of those organizations. Located on Smith Hill Road in Binghamton, Soldiers and Saddles is a riding program for veterans which includes therapeutic riding programs, and hippotherapy.

Because of their own hypervigilance, veterans with PTSD can relate to the trust and hypervigilance in a horse. According to the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, an estimated 5 percent to 20 percent "of those deployed for combat, peacekeeping, or humanitarian disaster relief will develop PTSD following their tour of duty."

Through the Soldiers and Saddles program at Stable Movements, veterans are given the opportunity to rehabilitate from the traumas and stressors they face after returning from combat. Military Medical Research conducted a study to determine the benefits to veterans from equine therapy and their findings were quite hopeful,

Participants had a statistically significant decrease in PTSD scores after 3 weeks of THR (P ≤ 0.01) as well as a statistically and clinically significant decrease after 6 weeks of THR (P ≤ 0.01). Logistic regression showed that participants had a 66.7% likelihood of having lower PTSD scores at 3 weeks and 87.5% likelihood at 6 weeks. Under the generalized linear model(GLM), our ANOVA findings for the coping self-efficacy, emotion regulation, and social and emotional loneliness did not reach statistical significance. The results for coping self-efficacy and emotion regulation trended in the predicted direction... Logistic regression provided validation that outcome effects were caused by riding longer.

On Saturday, August 25th, the Binghamton Moose Riders, American Legion Riders, Punishers National, and Guardian Belle Sisters will host a charity bike ride to benefit Soldiers and Saddles. Every penny raised will help out local veterans who are suffering from PTSD. The ride will begin and end at the Loyal Order of the Moose #1013 at 224 Henry Street in Binghamton. Registration will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m and kickstands up will be at 12 p.m. The cost to participate is $20 per bike and $10 per passenger. To learn more, send an email to Andy at ashady61@gmail.com.

Don't ride, but still want to lend a hand? A delicious BBQ lunch will be offered at the Loyal Order of the Moose #1013 at 224 Henry Street in Binghamton starting at 11 a.m. (until gone) on Saturday, August 25th. Cost is $8 per person and includes chicken, salt potatoes, and beans.

If you or someone you love is a veteran suffering from PTSD and you'd like to learn more about the Soldiers and Saddles program at Stable Movements, please visit their website, or call 607-727-7602.

[via US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health/US Department of Veterans Affairs/Military Medical Research/Stable Movements]