When Ted Schlueter returned home to his family farm in Deerfield, Wisc. after sustaining a serious head injury in the Vietnam War, he struggled to make a new life for himself. What he eventually found was that training horses helped him heal his mental and physical wounds, and through techniques he learned at a 1989 Natural Horsemanship seminar in Chicago, he became an expert humane trainer, forgoing the use of whips, bits or similar tools. Along with his business partner Paulette Stelpflug, he established Freedom Stables, where he’s rehabilitated dozens of horses. Now he’s helping disabled veterans, too. AT EASE, A Therapeutic Equine Assisted Self-confidence Experience benefits soldiers suffering from head injuries or PTSD by teaching them how to interact with horses and giving them a safe space to recover. “We help families mend their relationships after people return from duty,” Schlueter told Dori Dahl of The Cambridge News and Deerfield Independent. “The horses help provide a common ground to begin again.”
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