The Caisson Platoon Equine Assisted Programs is a civilian all-volunteer organization dedicated to providing equine-assisted activities for Wounded Warriors and Veterans. The Caisson Platoon Equine Assisted Programs are not an organization of the U.S. Army.
Begun in May 2006 at Fort Myer, Virginia, the Caisson Platoon Equine Assisted Programs presently conducts lessons at the Caisson Platoon training area on Fort Belvoir, serving the National Intrepid Centers of Excellence Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, and at Rock Creek Park, serving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the DC Veterans Administration.
The Caisson Platoon Equine Assisted Program at Fort Belvoir uses the Percheron draft and draft-cross horses of the Caisson Platoon, which are handled by the soldiers of the platoon, to provide equine-assisted activities for Wounded Warriors and 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 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
To be a leading organization facilitating the availability of equine-assisted activities for Wounded Warriors and Veterans with physical wounds, traumatic brain injury (TBI), or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by integrating volunteerism, fundraising, and activities to best serve the Wounded Warrior and Veteran populations.