Remount, a non-for-profit organisation running out of Bowning, uses the tranquillity of life on the farm to help ease the mental burden many of the selfless people who serve our country carry with them every day.

Operating out of the Macguire family cattle farm in Bowning since 2016, Ben Macguire explained who Remount serves and what they aim to do for them.

“Remount is a horsemanship run for veterans, current serving members of the ADF and their families, and frontline responders,”

“Many of those people have suffered some form of mental stress as a result of their service, and horsemanship is well recognised as a way of easing that stress and managing PTSD, and mental health.”

“That’s what Remount does. We acknowledge their service and we bring them in onto the farm and teach them how to ride horses and muster cattle, and send them a way with a bit of a circuit break on whatever they were going through and some community connection to help them along their way,” he said.

It’s this basic and peaceful activity that visitors find to be therapeutic and an escape from the stresses of day-to-day life.

“It comes through in a number of ways. One is the environment they’re in, so being on the farm, having some nice hospitality, having people acknowledge their service, all contributes to the outcomes.”

“In many cases people have not worked with horses before, finding and building a bond with a new animal, especially one that’s so big.”

“Contributing to a task with that animal starts to give people a new found sense of confidence, the animals don’t judge and so whatever it is they’ve been through or going through the horses are just there to support them,” said Ben.

Remount published the program dates for the entire calendar year on the 1st of January, and all programs were filled soon after. As for how that happens, Ben says it’s most commonly the result of word of mouth and is helped by the relationship they maintain with many of their guests.

“Probably about one third of the people come back again and really stay engaged, whether it’s through volunteering or coming back to ride. There’d be another third who stay heavily connected in terms of our online campfire through Facebook or the website, and relationships with the volunteers,” he said.

The best part of it all for the guests, it’s totally free.

“No one pays to come to Remount, no one gets paid to deliver Remount.”

“We, and when I say we I’m talking about not just my wife and I but our volunteers also, funded Remount for the first couple of years to get it going. We now have a bit of corporate support, but people can make donations if they’d like to contribute to the upkeep of the horses and other parts of the program that aren’t yet catered for,’ said Ben.

To organise a donation or offer a way you may be able to assist them, email ben@remount.org.au or call Ben at 0439 423 891.

Max O’Driscoll