Spring has been busy for The PEACH Pit: We hosted three events from April 12 through May 3.
First up was our Renew and Reconnect Retreat for women. Cathy Woods Yoga facilitated the retreat, which included physical and emotional parallels between yoga and horsemanship.
Next, we partnered with Minds-n-Motion to host the Fundamentals of Psychodynamic Equine Assisted Trauma Therapy training,
which became an international affair. The primary trainer, Ilka Parent, is from Germany, and her team came from Germany and Connecticut. We also had participants from Norway, Alaska, Colorado, Tennessee and Georgia.
The training helped participants understand how trauma affects the brain and how horses can help clients process trauma.
Our Horsepower and Heroes Retreat for women Veterans was our best yet. For the third consecutive retreat, our facilitators returned: Demetria Cannady led the vision board session. Lisa Cummings, Air Force Veteran, led yoga. Laurie Reisman led meditation, mindfulness and Qi Gong. Donna Watkins and Paige Jobe facilitated the equine-assisted learning session. Donna also facilitated Accelerated Resolution Therapy sessions, and Lisa conducted Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy sessions.
Along with offering various nontraditional therapy models, we added Pounding, an aerobic activity that incorporates rhythmic drumstick pounding. Check out the video below with Leia Williams Hunley facilitating.
Macon’s WMAZ covered that event.
Next up: the Peach-Quest Social Skills Summer Camp in July.
The PEACH Pit has received the Strategic Star Award as an agency providing exemplary service and support to Veterans. The award was presented March 19 during the Georgia DBHDD’s annual conference in Columbus, Ga.
The goal of this year’s Department of Behavior Health and Developmental Disability Unspoken Wounds Conference was to increase the “knowledge, confidence, and skills in addressing the behavioral health, criminal justice, and reintegration needs” the state’s Veterans, active duty servicemembers and their families.
While The PEACH Pit Inc. serves the community at large, we’re particularly proud of our service that allows more Veterans to be helped:
- We use of equine-assisted psychotherapy to destigmatize mental health care;
- We believe mental health care is a basic necessity, in the category of food, shelter and medical care;
- We offer low-cost, affordable mental health care to clients;
- We partner with programs that fund Veteran mental health care;
- We partnerships to help clinicians assist Veteran and servicemembers overcome PTSD;
- We host annual free retreats for women Veterans; and
- We offer volunteer opportunities for the military and others in the community.
The PEACH Pit Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation founded by a woman Veteran. It works to help clients help themselves. Its mission is to tap into the naturally reflective nature of horses to help clients overcome obstacles to a happy and healthy life. Its vision is to ensure clients feel emotionally and physically safe enough to allow a horse to serve as part of their counseling and therapy team so they can walk away from the experience feeling more empowered to make changes.
The therapy sessions include very little talking and involve activities where clients interact with horses. These interactions allow clients to focus on the present while healing from the past and looking toward the future. The sessions are unmounted, with clients on a journey of self-discovery with horses.
When participating in hands-on equine-assisted therapy, clients can better understand how their current behavior and pattern may be unhealthy and practice changing those that aren’t working for them. The sessions empower the clients by helping them find their own answers based on their strengths.
The agency’s primary goal is key to its service to the community, particularly lower-income Veterans: to provide low-cost, affordable mental health care to clients. To do this, The PEACH Pit receives donations through various corporate and private supporters.
The agency also partners with other companies that receive funding to work with Veterans; those agencies allow Veterans to receive equine-assisted psychotherapy or other services at no cost. The PEACH Pit also is a recognized charity that receives donations through the annual Combined Federal Campaign. Finally, The PEACH Pit has an “equity payment program” that allows clients to pay what they can – without financial strain. Several Veterans have completed sessions under the program.
In April 2019, The PEACH Pit is partnering with a psychologist to offer training for clinicians who work with (or want to work with) clients with PTSD. Clinicians attending the four-day training, Fundamentals of Psychodynamic Equine Assisted Trauma Therapy, can receive 20 continuing education credits, and will experience innovative applications of equine-assisted psychotherapy to work with people who have experienced trauma, with a specific focus and case examples applicable to Veterans and servicemembers.
Along with having women Veterans as clients, The PEACH Pit hosts annual Horsepower and Heroes Retreatsfor women Veterans to help them realize their best selves. The Veteran’s only expense for the retreat is transportation to and from the farm in Fort Valley, Ga. The Veterans lodge in one of two modernized cabins; each cabin has one bathroom, a microwave, kitchen sink, refrigerator and bedding. The cabins do not have televisions or Wi-Fi or televisions, as the aim is for Veterans to use the weekend to focus on themselves and their needs, and not on technology.
The weekends include vision-boarding, yoga, mindfulness, meditation, horseback riding, individual Accelerated Resolution Therapy, a group equine-assisted learning (EAL) activity in the arena, individual Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, aromatherapy and a fireside talking circle. 2019 marks the third annual Horsepower and Heroes Retreat.
Finally, The PEACH Pit, as a nonprofit, offers opportunities for Veterans and others to give back to the community. The agency hosts at least two volunteer days and demonstrations a year, and Veterans, servicemembers, students and others in the community have participated. The volunteer activities have included:
- Clearing downed trees
- Cutting up downed trees
- Mending/installing fencing
- Marking riding and hiking trails
- Mucking arena/dragging pastures
- Cleaning, refilling water troughs
- Collecting trash
- Grooming horses
- Cleaning saddles
- Setting up for demo
- Feeding horses
- Planting seeds
We don’t do this alone; we count on your support to help others. Thank you for your support.
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What’s the most important basic need: food, shelter, good physical and mental health, clothing?
If you had to give up one, which would it be? Many would keep food, shelter and clothing, until they absolutely had to focus on the health part.
What if you didn’t have to choose?
At The PEACH Pit, we believe good mental health is as basic a need as food, that no one should have to choose between any of the basic needs.
That’s why we’re a nonprofit.
We use an equity plan, giving everyone the opportunity to have a stake in their care:
- How much is your monthly income?
- How much are your expenses?
- What’s left?
- Of the amount that’s left, how much can you afford to pay each week for services – without financial strain?
Where does the fee balance come from?
Donations, grants, gifts all help us provide affordable mental health care to our clients who may struggle with the choice.
Please consider donating to The PEACH Pit. Every penny donated helps provide a basic need: mental health care.
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Check out The PEACH Pit’s video for the Combined Federal Campaign Virtual Charity Fair to kick off the 2018 campaign. Please share with current and retired federal workers, and ask them to consider donating to us using CFC #27220.
The PEACH Pit (CFC #27220) is one of more than 20,000 nonprofit organizations worldwide approved to participate this year. Enter our CFC number on the following link to get more information: https://cfcgiving.opm.gov/offerings. Once on that site, donors can simply add us to their donation list.
One hundred percent of donations (ALL OF IT) goes to direct client care.
The PEACH Pit is partnering with Cathy Woods Yoga and Enrichment Programs to offer Renew and Reconnect: a restorative horse and yoga self-care women’s retreat through Body, Mind, Equine.
This fundraising event is April 12-14, 2019, at The PEACH Pit Georgia, Fort Valley.
Register today to use yoga principles to improve horsemanship and life in general. Experience rich, heart-connected time with yourself, others and the spirit of the horse, through meditation, yoga and optional saddle time.
All levels welcome.
Lodging is shared in one of two 12×32 lofted cabins. Each cabin can sleep up to eight, but we will reserve space for only six in each: three sleeper sofa/chairs downstairs and three beds in the lofts, which are accessible by ladder and have sleeping space (not standing room). Each cabin has a shared bathroom (shower, toilet, sink).
The rate includes five meals (light dinner Friday; breakfast, lunch and dinner Saturday; brunch Sunday).
Cathy created this nationally acclaimed program and has been featured in Forbes; Western Horse and Gun; Equitrekking; and Yoga Digest.
Learn more about Cathy Woods Yoga Body, Mind, Equine.
Hey exercise enthusiasts, have you ever said, “Thank you for your service”? Well, here’s a chance to truly thank our Veterans and active duty servicemembers.
The Horsepower and Heroes Heavyweight Hack is your chance for a great day of working out while raising money to bring Veterans to The PEACH Pit for a free two-day retreat. All (that’s 100 percent ) of the proceeds will go to fund The PEACH Pit’s Horsepower and Heroes Retreat on Nov. 10-12, 2017.
This fundraiser will include team and individual workouts of the day, with prizes to the Top 3 teams and Top male and female. Registration is $160 per team (two men and one woman per team), and $45 for individual competitors. Additionally, proceeds from T-shirt sales will help fund the retreat.
Register by 10 p.m. April 30 and get 5 percent off (code HAHX).
Why are we doing this? Well, it’s our way of giving back. Our primary goal at The PEACH Pit, founded by a Veteran, is to provide affordable, low cost mental health counseling to all clients, especially our living heroes, our Veterans and servicemembers.
Sadly, a 2016 Department of Veterans Affairs report indicates that about 20 Veterans commit suicide daily. We want to do our part to prevent those deaths. To that end, The PEACH Pit is selecting Veterans from a pool of applicants for the free two-day outdoors retreat at our farm site in Georgia.
The fundraiser was the idea of The PEACH Pit board chair’s son, a CrossFit enthusiast and Army helicopter pilot.
By the way, a hack, in horse terms, is a short trail ride, generally at a leisurely pace. In nonhorse language, it’s an efficient way of achieving a goal.
You’re the heavyweights, we have the horses and the goal is to raise money. Register today for the Horsepower and Heroes Heavyweight Hack.
If you know of a Veteran interested in attending our Horsepower and Heroes Retreat, have them check out that event.
Thanks for helping us thank them.