“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”


PTSD is a highly disabling condition and the signature disorder of many returning veterans.

Symptoms such as nightmares, negative thoughts, and hypervigilance can cause debilitating anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.

Veterans who suffer from PTSD are often unable to lead healthy, productive, and secure lives.

We must all do better to ensure that our brave men and women in uniform receive the treatment and support they deserve when they return home from the battlefield.


The Man O’ War Project at Columbia University Irving Medical Center is the first university-led research trial to establish manualized guidelines for the application of Equine-Assisted Therapy for treating veterans with PTSD (EAT-PTSD) and to examine the effectiveness of this promising new treatment for veterans.


We intend to publish our treatment manual and believe other equine therapy programs will benefit from our findings.

The current research project will provide the first clinical evidence of the effectiveness of EAT-PTSD for treating veterans who suffer from PTSD.

In the next phase, we will continue with a rigourous research agenda as well as explore how to best disseminate our treatment protocol to other EAT providers who can adopt and replicate our standardized therapy for veterans.

Many treatments for PTSD exist, but many who receive these treatments do not improve.

  • “Exposure” therapies that ask veterans to “face their fears” are overly demanding and have high drop-out rates
  • “Talk therapy” is often viewed by veterans as stigmatizing

Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) is an alternative, widely used treatment for many mental health problems. While anecdotal evidence suggests that EAT provides benefit to those with PTSD and other mental disorders, no clinical evidence exists to determine if EAT can effectively treat PTSD or in how EAT should be most effectively administered.