MSU hosts first ever veteran’s horsemanship program cookout

WEST POINT, Miss. (WCBI)- Mississippi State University wants veterans to be more aware of the resources around them. Lori Irvin is an Extension Service Associate at Mississippi State. She said this was a great way to build more connections and showcase the horsemanship program.

“We are having a veteran’s lunch to celebrate our veteran’s horsemanship program,” said Irvin. “The many participants that have been through it since we started and just to bring more awareness to the program and the benefits to the people that might want to participate.”

The veteran’s horsemanship program offers horseback riding and bonding with horses. Audrey Sheridan is a Research and Extension Associate at Mississippi State. She said the program is all about helping those who served and fought for our country.

“The veterans horsemanship program is geared towards helping people who are discharged from the military to try to reconnect with society,” said Sheridan. “So, it is just a trust-building program.”

Gilbert Spencer and Louie Bennett participated in the veteran’s horsemanship program. They said it helped them to become more outgoing.

“Coming to this program has helped me to become more socially able, it also gave me freedom,” said Spencer. “I felt very free in the program.”

“The horses understand us more than we understand ourselves sometimes,” said Bennett. “It gives us something to look forward to and come in and train with. It gets us back to basically being ourselves, I did not know what all a horse felt, but being around this program has helped me tremendously.”

Ulis Calvert also participated in the veteran’s horsemanship program and is recovering from a car accident. He said the program allowed him to connect better with others.

“Since I am going through this,” said Calvert. “I am getting more socially able I am getting more people like again.”

This was the first veteran’s horsemanship program cookout.

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