Thursday, 16 July 2020 13:03

Experienced Equine-Veteran Team Launches New Program for Veterans and First Responders

Alliance180 Team. Photo provided. Alliance180 Team. Photo provided.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — For more than a decade, Bob Nevins, Melody Squier and Janelle Huggard have been working together to successfully reveal the power of a horse-to-human interaction by providing transformative equine experiences for veterans living with the effects of trauma. Now, the crew has launched a new program called Alliance180, and they’re expanding their support to reach first responders and frontline workers while incorporating science-based research.

For years there have been increasing studies that demonstrate the negative effect that trauma can have on the autonomic nervous system. Because of a new collaboration with Alliance180, Dr. Stephen Porges, a Behavioral Neuroscientist, and his colleagues from Indiana University, the team will be able to successfully document and validate the effectiveness of their equine experience by incorporating and applying evidence of the Polyvagal Theory.   

Squier, Alliance180’s Co-Founder, has understood the positive effects horses have on humans, especially those experiencing trauma, for more than 30 years. When she joined forces with Nevins, the two were able to combine their relevant experience and passion for helping others, impacting more than 800 veterans through their past efforts. 

The purpose-driven programming of Alliance180 (A180) provides an effective three-day experience through peer-to-peer interaction, private accommodations and classroom training to learn the language of the horse, and a round-pen interaction with the horse as the culminating event. Through the lens of the horse, participants learn to communicate with another powerful but very different species, most often resulting in the emotional response being reawakened, leading to a heightened awareness and offering a renewed perspective and brighter outlook. 

Alliance180 plans to launch its first class by the end of August. Activities and classes will take place at the farm belonging to Song Hill Thoroughbreds LLC, and James and Tina Bond and Family. The Bonds said they are happy to be “teaming up” with A180’s experienced staff and are glad to offer access to their horses and facility for the organization’s crucial programming. 

For more information on Alliance180, its programming or to become a benefactor, please visit Alliance180.org or call 518-415-0206. 

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