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Documentary

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Secret War

 

A film about two veterans of the war in Afghanistan using equine therapy to help treat symptoms of PTSD. Broadcast by CBC, 2015.

[Video starts at 1:50]

Recent graduates from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University, Sarah Turnbull, Emanuela Campanella, Fangliang Xu and Shannon Lough created the 14-minute film last fall as part of the documentary class taught by Michael Ostroff.

The story recounts the veterans’ reflections of Afghanistan, and being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after returning home. Traditional therapies weren’t working so they decided to try a new alternative treatment being offered in Pembroke called the War Horse Project. During the sessions with the horses the veterans began dealing with their stress and emotion.

The saddles are ready. The participants will get to ride a horse at this week's session.

The saddles are ready. The participants will get to ride a horse at this week’s session.

Media for the documentary and the War Horse Project

After several weeks, Roger and Shannon finally get to ride on the horses for the ultimate connection.

After several weeks, Roger and Shannon finally get to ride on the horses for the ultimate connection.

Participants sit around the fire at the ranch, taking a break from their equine therapy session.

Participants sit around the fire at the ranch, taking a break from their equine therapy session.

Roger thanking Dakota for the ride.

Roger thanking Dakota for the ride.

These horses offer equine therapy to soldiers who have a stress injury after returning from Afghanistan.

These horses offer equine therapy to soldiers who have a stress injury after returning from Afghanistan.