Program Profile


(L to R) Jane Strong, The Equus Effect Executive Director, and Tanya Mary Smith, BSN, RN. Photo: The Equus Effect

The Equus Effect has been supporting combat veterans and first responders since 2013. In the spring of 2020, we included frontline health workers. We have worked with over 1000 men and women who have experienced primary or secondary trauma resulting from personal and professional situations.

At the onset of the pandemic, we were deemed an essential business with the State of Connecticut. And with the funded grant from the Foundation for Community Health, we were able to keep moving forward with our work and without staff furloughs. We have been able to pay our staff and keep our herd healthy.

MISSION: To provide veterans and others in high stress situations with essential tools to meet life’s challenges and build healthy relationships through purposeful engagement with horses.

We empower uniformed professionals, who are serving the State and our communities, to identify and resolve their own barriers to inner clarity and resourcefulness without the need to reveal specific details of the situations that are causing symptoms of trauma.

The Equus Effect Program® offers a capacity-building program that provides tools for resilience, renewal and healthy relationships that are direct and easy to use under pressure. When clients experience and recognize activation and settling cycles (fight/flight/freeze and recovery) in real time, we are able to intervene and offer tools to mitigate triggers before the nervous system becomes flooded with adrenaline and cortisol. Participants discharge adrenaline more quickly and recover from the energy drain of fight/flight reactions. They then become more resourceful and level headed under pressure.

John Bourges of The Equus Effect

John Bourges, RN, BSN, CCRN, CEN. Photo: The Equus Effect

Catherine Goodyear of The Equus Effect

Catherine Goodyear, R.T.(T). Photo: The Equus Effect

Our aim is to strengthen the emotional and mental fitness among uniformed workers so they can meet the extraordinary demands required by these times.

For more information, please visit The Equus Effect or call 860-364-5363.

To view The Equus Effect Grantee Profile (click)