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Post: Veteran finds hope from Gaits of Hope equine-assisted therapy after suicidal thoughts

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Veteran finds hope from Gaits of Hope equine-assisted therapy after suicidal thoughts
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Bruce Beggs takes part in the veteran program at Gaits of Hope and calls his horse Twist his four-legged therapist. Photo taken June 28, 2024, in Rice, Minnesota. Editor’s note: This story deals with trauma and the suicidal thoughts that can accompany it. If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. To reach the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org .

RICE, Minn. — Bruce Beggs was ready for it all to be over.

“I was 10 minutes away from suicide. I had the rope rigged up in my pole barn, and I was just making one last run through my house, and I saw a refrigerator magnet with the Veterans Crisis Line number,” Beggs said.

That refrigerator magnet saved Beggs’s life. After dialing the number, Beggs, who served in the U.S. Navy from 1974 to 1980, was taken to his local VA and entered into a residential rehabilitation treatment program. Three days prior to his graduation from the program, he wasn’t sure what his next step was. One of his counselors suggested the Eagle’s Healing Nest in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. Veterans are able to come and participate in "Fall in Fridays" equine assisted therapy sessions at Gaits of Hope at no charge. Photo taken on June 28, 2024, in Rice, Minnesota. During his time at the Eagle’s Healing Nest, Beggs heard about Gaits of Hope, an equine-assisted therapy facility.

“I showed up, and I was a little bit skeptical at first, but then the more I kept coming. I don’t know, something clicked. It just worked for me,” Bruce said.

Bruce was paired up with Twist, whom he calls his four-legged therapist. Bruce participates in “Fall in Fridays.” Fall in Fridays happen once a week, on Friday, and are offered to veterans free of charge. The veterans come out to Gaits of Hope and participate in an equine assisted therapy session. Jodine Adleman created Gaits of Hope nine years ago and offers equine-assisted therapy for free to those who have served. Photo taken June 28, 2024, in Rice, Minnesota. “The […]

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