Splash in action: War and combat have a profound impact on a soldier’s life. Some return home with physical injuries that all can see. Others may appear fine, but face each day with PTSD, anxiety and depression. The daily grind of life can be challenging to say the least for these individuals. Often time these veterans are looking to find a way to cope with these challenges in a positive way. Let me tell you about a horse named Splash who was up for the test to help some of our local veterans. One day a group of individuals came to The Right Step, Inc. (TRS) in Littleton, Colorado to participate in the ground school for veterans. There were some vets who had horses when they were young, or worked on a ranch. However it had been decades since they had been around a horse. Others had no experience and were quite frightened of this large animal weighing over 1,000 pounds. Lena, a TRS instructor, first led the group in exercises to get them grounded in the moment, and leave the world behind for just this lesson. Splash then entered the arena and soon became the star of the show. Each soldier had the opportunity over the next three weeks to interact with Splash. She was patient as each person took their turn placing their hands on her back or side. In time their breathing became in sync with the horse, releasing the stress of the day. Splash was patient with each and every one. As each vet became comfortable they learned to groom, lead the horse by themselves and even lunge. I watched as Splash worked her magic. Over the weeks, these vets blossomed. They went from being tentative and scared, to being a partner with Splash. She showed them that trust could be built and their confidence rose. They were able to connect again in a positive way. The smiles and ease with which these vets moved about the barn upon completion of the program was amazing. They walked out with their head held high knowing that the world was full of possibilities because of a horse. We have our incredible Splash to thank for this transformation.