Yonkers Raceway
Liz is a former Marine and is leading the post parade at Yonkers Raceway. Liz works with Robbie thru the Northport Veterans Hospital.
Meadowlands
In the pouring rain a hundred veterans showed up to watch these two veterans as they  led the post parade. Both of them did tours of duty in Afghanistan.
Yonkers Raceway
Harness Racings Veterans 
Equine-Assisted Therapy Program
Mark is an Army vet and is leading the Yonkers Raceway post parade. He came to Robbie thru the HorseAbilty for Heroes Program, from Old Westbury, NY.
Robbie SIegelman has been working with our veterans for the last several years on Long Island. The USHRAA recognizes the importance of the equine therapy for America's veterans and we know that our equines give a leg-up to our veterans as they adjust to civilian life.

For more information contact Robbie Siegelman
@ 516 697-7330

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Equine-Assisted Therapy

Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Appropriations

Lawmakers Boost Funds for Equine-Assisted Therapy

Buried in the text of the 2,232 page omnibus spending bill enacted in late March, Congress included a provision to increase funds available for equine-assisted therapy by $1 million in FY2018.  Within the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA), Veterans’ Benefits Administration provision, the law appropriates “an additional $1 million … to the Adaptive Sports Program to encourage VA to increase … grants for equine therapy for mental health issues.”  A committee statement that accompanies the legislative text goes on to outline the rationale for the increased funds by acknowledging that there are “promising results reported using equine therapy for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder.” The enhanced equine therapy provision traces its roots to a pro-horse industry amendment that Rep. Barr (R-KY) offered to a FY2018 spending bill in late July 2017, directing Congress to allocate more resources to VA for equine therapy. 

While addressing members of the Congressional Horse Caucus during an event unveiling the horse industry’s 2017 economic impact study in early March, Rep. Barr (R-KY) discussed the importance of expanding access to evidence-based equine treatment for veterans who’ve suffered trauma during combat.   According to the economic study, equine-assisted therapy operations support more than 6700 jobs and generate $311.7 million in annual revenues. If you would like more information about the equine therapy provision or other federal appropriations issues, please contact Bryan Brendle at [email protected]    
Tell Congress to Increase Funds for Equine-Assisted Therapy for Veterans!

Background:
The U.S. horse industry, which supports nearly one million American jobs and contributes $122 billion to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), urges Congress to continue to increase funds for equine assisted activity therapy (EAAT) to help our nation’s warriors when they return from combat.  In the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 spending bill, Congress included a provision to increase funds available for EAAT by $1 million in FY2018 within the budget for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA). Specifically, the law appropriates “an additional $1 million … to the Adaptive Sports Program to encourage VA to increase … grants for equine therapy for mental health issues.”  The FY2019 VA spending bill includes an identical provision, directing Congress to increase funds for EAAT by $1 million.

The enhanced equine therapy provision traces its roots to pro-horse industry measures championed by Rep. Barr (R-KY), directing Congress to allocate more resources to VA for equine therapy.  In addition to providing invaluable services to U.S. veterans, equine-assisted therapy operations support more than 6,700 jobs and generate $311.7 million in annual revenues, according to a 2017 economic impact study.    

Status:
The House Appropriations Committee has approved a FY2019 spending bill to increase funds for EAAT to benefit veterans by $1 million.  The horse industry supports any effort to promote EAAT as the FY2019 spending bill moves forward. On the Senate side, the Appropriations Committee has not yet finalized a FY2019 VA spending bill, as of May 24, 2018.  

Take Action:  
House Message:  Tell your representative that you are encouraged by existing measures within H.R. 5786, the FY2019 VA spending bill, to allocate equine therapy resources for warriors.  Also, ask your lawmaker to support any measure that increases EAAT resources for veterans as the spending package moves forward.

Senate Message:  Tell your senators that at a minimum, they should support a companion measure in the senate spending bill, or existing provisions in H.R. 5786, which is the House version of the VA spending bill, to increase resources for EAAT.  Equine therapy gives a leg-up to veterans adjusting to civilian life.