Albany native and Army veteran Adam Halloran has a special connection to horses.
“I’ve always been everybody else's rock. Well, these horses, for once, finally provide me a rock, stability to lean on, a shoulder to lean on,” said Adam Halloran, an Army veteran and student in the SUNY Cobleskill Therapeutic Horsemanship program.
His love for riding horses started seven years after he left the military, but it was a long road that took him to where he is today.
What You Need To Know
- SUNY Cobleskill’s Therapeutic Horsemanship program has been helping veterans since partnering with the VA in 2016
- Hundreds of vets have gone through the program over the last 5 years
- Army Veteran Adam Halloran is among the vets now enrolled
“You know, I suffered from mental illness, alcoholism, substance abuse. What started out as a doctor's prescription got out of hand pretty quick,” Halloran said.
Horses are a big part in helping him through his recovery and maintaining his sobriety. Through the VA, he joined the SUNY Cobleskill Therapeutic Horsemanship program, which teaches veterans how to ride, at no cost, but that's not all.
It gives the vets something to look forward to.
“She’s helped me get through a lot. You know, I don’t have too many human friends. I stayed away from people, you know, and animals have always been there,” Halloran said.
Since partnering with the Albany VA in 2016, the program has helped hundreds of veterans.
“We’ve been able to actually provide an opportunity for veterans to get out and learn about horses. We start from the ground up. They learn how to groom, how to take care of the horses. They learn how to tack their own horse, and then they learn to ride, just like Adam does,” said Carolyn Nelson, Marine veteran and Therapeutic Horsemanship Veterans program manager.
For Halloran, the program has given him much more than a passion for horses. He’s enrolled in SUNY Cobleskill’s Animal Science program, and he has a message for other veterans who may feel as hopeless as he once did.
“I don’t have health insurance besides the VA, but the best decision I ever made was to actually reach out and get some help from them. You know, help is only one step away,” Halloran said.