As MKE Urban Stables prepares for its grand opening this fall, volunteers work hard to prepare therapy horses for interaction with the public. Two of these volunteers, who are also veterans, invited 88Nine to the stables for a preview of their work with the horses.
The two vets talk about the power of horseback riding and equine therapy and how it has benefited them. Hear or read the community story below.
Glenn Scheuerman: “So basically what we do is feed them, clean them and spend some time with them. “
Nate Imig: There is something special, a certain feeling that you get when you are with horses. If you’ve felt it, you know it.
Glenn Scheuerman: “Nothing from afar, nothing compares to being with horses.”
Nate Imig: It’s Glenn Scheuerman. He’s a retired Army sergeant who now volunteers at the MKE Urban Stables in Bay View. Glenn has spent his career in the military and most importantly says he misses the camaraderie. But through equine therapy, he found a way to get that feeling again.
Glenn Scheuerman: “We help each other. “
Nate Imig: Glenn works with a pair of miniature horses that have just arrived at the stables, doing rides around a covered arena, working on a process called gentling. Essentially, it is about getting the horse used to working with humans.
Glenn Scheuerman: “So you have to be careful. I am a big pushover. I don’t want the horses to find out.
Nate Imig: For Glenn, it’s not the first time he’s worked with a horse. He also spent time with a much larger live horse in the stables.
Glenn Scheuerman: “His name is Fish. He and I bonded really well. He’s a Percheron. It therefore weighs between 1,800 and 2,000 pounds. Big boy.
“And he not only put his head on my shoulder, he literally put his full weight on my shoulder. It didn’t hurt, you know, but I felt like ‘you got my six’ as we call it an army, you backed me up. And he felt like he did.
“Do you know how awesome it is?” Because it does, I have issues with self-esteem and self-confidence, so sometimes I feel like I trust horses more than humans, unfortunately.
Nate Imig: Equine therapy has been around for centuries. And that’s because many believe that horses are particularly intuitive. Sherri Jibson is a Gulf War Navy veteran and also volunteers at the stables. She says from her experience the horse can always tell how you are feeling.
Sherri Jibson: “I work with trust issues, anxiety issues, about different things that have happened in my life.
” So what is it. When people get older that’s one of the things they struggle with, that’s the goal. It definitely gives you a goal, goals, you know?
“I guess one of the life statements I have tried to teach my kids is that if you learn something new every day of your life, you are good. And it certainly gives you that opportunity.
“If it weren’t for the involvement of the horses, I probably wouldn’t be here because they saved my life.”
Nate Imig: The MKE Urban Stables in Bay View will open to the public this fall and offer equine therapy programs for everyone. But for now both Sherri and Glenn help the horses settle into their new home, alongside the Mounted Patrol of the Milwaukee Police Department.
If you’re interested in learning more about MKE Urban Stables, check out our recent episode of Urban Caving, with a preview with Chairman of the Board, Kent Lovern.
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