The Caisson Platoon Equine Assisted Programs is an all volunteer organization that was founded to provide equine assisted therapy to the Wounded Warriors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) at Bethesda, Maryland.
Begun in May of 2006 at Fort Myer, Virginia, the Caisson Platoon Equine Assisted Programs uses the magnificent and powerful Percheron draft and draft cross horses of the Caisson Platoon, which are handled by the accomplished active duty Soldiers of the platoon, to provide equine assisted therapy for Wounded Warriors and military Veterans. During the lessons, the Soldiers serve as horse leaders and side walkers—Soldiers helping fellow Soldiers—a key strength of the program. The Caisson Platoon belongs to the U.S. Army’s famed 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), whose duties include guarding The Tomb of the Unknowns and conducting military ceremonial honors during funerals at Arlington National Cemetery.
Benefits of the equine assisted therapy:
- Improves center of balance
- Improves efficiency in use and adaptation to prosthesis
- Improves core muscle groups
- Increases self-confidence
- Provides a sense of accomplishment and well-being
- Improves mental and emotional outlook