Horses

Therapy Horse Honored For His Service To Veterans

da5836e11e29b821ed20_Sprin_Therapy_Horse.JPG
Spring Thaw gets some loving from a young client at Spring Reins of Life during his 9-year career as a therapy horse. Credits: courtesy photo
3bace2ece1a56a60908f_Therapy_horse_honored05.JPG
Spring Thaw, the lead therapy horse at Spring Reins of Life (SRoL)., was honored posthumously by the Veteran’s Administration with the Planetree Therapy Animal Medal of Honor on March 20, 2018. Credits: Lillian Shupe
d6e2181d81f4f47def70_Therapy_horse_honored01.JPG
Cake was served in honor of Spring Thaw, the lead therapy horse at Spring Reins of Life (SRoL)., who would have turned 31 on March 20, 2018. Credits: Lillian Shupe
77b7f28b19c2d0102c08_Therapy_horse_honored02.JPG
Guests could write messages to Spring Thaw, who was honored by the Veteran’s Administration with the Planetree Therapy Animal Medal of Honor on March 20, 2018. Credits: Lillian Shupe
b2ac3a24e74b9b2d0073_Therapy_horse_honored03.JPG
The stall where Spring Thaw, the lead therapy horse at Spring Reins of Life resided, is decorated with photos and memorabilia of his life. Credits: Lillian Shupe
0730e1df39645ce754cc_Therapy_horse_honored04.JPG
A future Spring Reins of Life therapy horse gets treats from a visitor after ceremonies to honor the late, Spring Thaw, who was honored with the Planetree Therapy Animal Medal of Honor. Credits: Lillian Shupe
b455e72c897c8f9c7f38_Therapy_horse_honored06.JPG
The Spring Reins of Life herd welcomed visitors after their late herdmate Spring Thaw was honored by the Veteran’s Administration with the Planetree Therapy Animal Medal of Honor on March 20, 2017. Credits: Lillian Shupe
407181dbd3812aead05d_Therapy_horse_honored07.JPG
A bagpipe player plays Happy Birthday for Spring Thaw, the lead therapy horse at Spring Reins of Life, who was honored posthumously with the Planetree Therapy Animal Medal of Honor on March, 20, 2018. Credits: Lillian Shupe
0df2a330c0d19c303337_Therapy_horse_honored08.JPG
Bob Seeley plays Taps for Spring Thaw, the lead therapy horse at Spring Reins of Life who was honored with the Planetree Therapy Animal Medal of Honor on March, 20, 2018. Credits: Lillian Shupe
65403a527883b98151d0_Therapy_horse_honored09.JPG
Dr. Judith Shoemaker, left, recalls the day she met Christiana Capra, right. and a very sick horse named Spring Thaw during ceremonies held on March 20, 2018 Credits: Lillian Shupe
f3888176ea044e49009d_Therapy_horse_honored10.JPG
Christiana Capra recounts the story of Spring Thaw, the lead therapy horse at Spring Reins of Life at the presentation of the Planetree Therapy Animal Medal of Honor. Credits: Lillian Shupe
0969ef1a9278d3e78fa9_Therapy_horse_honored11.JPG
New Jersey State Senator Kip Bateman congratulates Spring Thaw, the lead therapy horse at Spring Reins of Life as the only Garden State recipient of the Planetree Therapy Animal Medal of Honor. Credits: Lillian Shupe
50cdf59c12eb1210a09c_Therapy_horse_honored12.JPG
Evan Wadle, representing Congressman Leonard Lance, presents a flag that was flown over Washington, D.C. in honor of Spring Thaw, the lead therapy horse at Spring Reins of Life, to Christiana Capra. Credits: Lillian Shupe
62bee25dfdd5cdc4c2ab_Therapy_horse_honored13.JPG
Spring Thaw, the lead therapy horse at Spring Reins of Life is honored by the Veteran’s Administration with the Planetree Therapy Animal Medal of Honor on March 20, 2018. Credits: Lillian Shupe
0ba5b97ea4372e486820_Therapy_horse_honored14.JPG
Danny Rongo emcees ceremonies honoring Spring Thaw, the late lead therapy horse at Spring Reins of Life. Syriana, another therapy herd member surveys the crowd that gathered for the event. Credits: Lillian Shupe
c799edcb90ce8a99d067_Therapy_horse_honored15.JPG
Veterans from all branches of the military come to Spring Reins of Life for equine assisted therapy. Credits: Lillian Shupe
a69c57356a6695682afa_Therapy_horse_honored16.JPG
Several dozen veterans, volunteers, dignitaries and other supporters gathered on a very chilly March 20, 2018 to honor Spring Thaw, recipient of Planetree Therapy Animal Medal of Honor. Credits: Lillian Shupe
da5836e11e29b821ed20_Sprin_Therapy_Horse.JPG

THREE BRIDGES, N.J. — Several dozen veterans, volunteers, dignitaries and other supporters gathered on a very chilly March 20 to honor a special horse.

Spring Thaw, the lead therapy horse at Spring Reins of Life (SRoL)., was honored by the Veteran’s Administration with the Planetree Therapy Animal Medal of Honor. It would have been the Appaloosa's 31st birthday. Spring was laid to rest on Jan. 20, his old body no longer able to withstand tough winters.

Just days after his death, the veterans who had nominated Spring for the award, came to share the news with SRoL co-founder Christianna Capra, that he had won the honor.

Sign Up for E-News

At the ceremony, Capra recounted Spring's story: She was living in New York City and met the horse at Claremount Riding Academy. The temperamental gelding had a penchant "for going AWOL," Capra said. He developed a fool proof technique for dumping his rider. He would then go touring Central Park and other aprts of New York City on his own until he decided to return to his stall. Capra, who was helping out as a groom, purchased the trouble maker.

For several years Spring competed in three-day eventing, but only on his own terms, Capra said. Then he contracted Lyme disease. Capra took him to Dr. Judith Shoemaker. Dr. Shoemaker said Spring was a very ill horse, with an attitude, when she started treating him. The veterinarian noticed the horse was very communicative and suggested he would be good as a equine assisted psychotherapy horse under the Equine-Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) model. 

Thus, Spring became the founding member of the SRoL therapy herd. In the nine years since then, Spring has helped more than 700 veterans from the N.J. VA Healthcare System as well as local combat veterans in New Jersey cope with PTSD. Many of whom referred to him as ‘The General or Grandpa. Spring also work with troubled youth, one of whom asked if the horse had Jedi powers, thus earning him another nickname, "JediHorse."

The horse seemed to have a sixth sense when around people. He always wanted to get right down to business, even if it made the people uncomfortable, Capra said. While interacting with the clients, Spring helped them see inside themselves so they could heal.

Congressman Leonard Lance could not be in attendance as he is in Washington, D.C. but he arranged to have a flag flown at the Capitol in honor of Spring Thaw. That flag was then presented to Capra by Evan Wadle in the Congressman's absence.

Only 15 service animals in the country are being awarded the Medal of Honor. A national ceremony will be held in October in Maryland. 

“Spring's life left a life marker on countless clients in the nine years he spent working his JediHorse magic in our EAP arena. We are so blessed to have had his guidance and wisdom shared so freely,” Capra said.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Flemington/Raritan

Proposal for Flemington Candidates' Forum

July 17, 2018

To The editor,

This is an open note to Flemington Mayoral candidates Phil Greiner and Betsy Driver; and Borough Council candidates  Marc Hain, Brooke Warden, Chris Runion Caitlin Giles-McCormick

Re: Proposal for Candidate Forum[s] in Flemington

Folks,

Seeing how this is an extremely important election with many significant issues facing Flemington, I propose all ...

Malinowski Supports NJ Infrastructure

To the editor,

I support Tom Malinowski in the election to represent New Jersey’s 7th district this November because he will support infrastructure investments that are essential to the continued prosperity of this district.

Tom recognizes this district’s dire need for infrastructure appropriations, and he knows how essential the Gateway Project is for not only those who commute ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, July 21, 1:00 PM

PetValu, Flemington

Greyhound Adoption Program Meet & Greet

Giving Back

Sat, July 21, 4:00 PM

Downtown Flemington, Flemington

Salsa Night

Arts & Entertainment

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.

 

 

Proposal for Flemington Candidates' Forum

July 17, 2018

To The editor,

This is an open note to Flemington Mayoral candidates Phil Greiner and Betsy Driver; and Borough Council candidates  Marc Hain, Brooke Warden, Chris Runion Caitlin Giles-McCormick

Re: Proposal for Candidate Forum[s] in Flemington

Folks,

Seeing how this is an extremely important election with many significant issues facing Flemington, I propose all ...

Notice of Hearing, Raritan Township

July 16, 2018

A public hearing will be held before the Raritan Township Zoning Board of Adjustment at the Municipal Building, located at 1 Municipal Drive in the  Committee/Court Meeting Room on Thursday July 19 at 7:30 p.m. on the following application: The above applicant is requesting approval of and any and all variances and waivers as may be required by the Board for an 28.56 kw Ground Mounted P.V.