AM Buffalo


Higher Ground offers horse therapy for veterans

Posted at 4:56 PM, Nov 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-18 09:56:50-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Ed Gadson U.S. Navy Chief retired, says Higher Ground offers a wide range of recreational activities that I never tried before in my life, never thought about trying but once I got connected to them now, it’s like I can’t stop.

Ed has PTSD. He says he didn’t know he had PTSD for several years after I got out of the service. He served for sixteen years in the submarine service. Once he got out, he says the transition was so difficult. He says civilians are different than soldiers and sailors.

He and Echo have been together coming up on three years now and it’s more like a spiritual connection. Ed says he can sense what I am feeling, and I can sense what he is feeling and we kind of work together to help each other feel okay.

Horse powered healing is just one of the many programs available to veterans through Higher Ground, a national nonprofit offering recreational therapy to people of all abilities. Using activity-based interventions to help people with both their physical and mental health.

Marlene Roll, VFW legislative chair and Higher Ground board member says whether you are reserve or active duty, when you get out, you’re out and all those people you relied on and worked with and been around for who knows how long, all of a sudden are gone so how do you function and that is a big part of it. She was in the service from 1986 to 1994 and says she is a Desert Storm vet and when she got out, she was out, point blank, that was it. She says veterans are good at sequestering themselves at home and just being loners when things get tough and I think when you are physical and out there doing and expending that energy and focused on something else, that helps.

Tina Wolcott, owner of Wolcott Farms in Wyoming County helps run Higher Grounds equestrian program. Why do horses have this magical thing about them that helps people? Tina says I don’t know, I’ve been with them all my life and it’s the same thing, I could ride 24/7 and the horse just has that therapy about them, that essence of just relaxation and goodness absolute goodness.

For more information call 716-984-7806 or go to

The veterans crisis line is 1-800-273-8255, press 1.