Jimmy’s Story

When retired Marine Jimmy Ochan started at Loudoun Therapeutic Riding 4 years ago, he didn’t realize that equine assisted activities would help him get a college degree.  In June, Jimmy graduated from college receiving a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.  Jimmy was medically discharged from the military after 3 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan which left him with traumatic brain injury.  He was referred to Loudoun Therapeutic riding to help him with community reintegration and to improve his balance.  As his wife Pat explains, little did he know that an additional benefit of the program would be “helping him focus on his school work.”

Equine assisted activities have been widely used to improve concentration and completing tasks without getting distracted. This is because in working with a horse, our students must live in the present just as our horses do. Horses are also hyper sensitive creatures and can sense when their human companion’s mood, thoughts and feelings have changed.

Pat gives a great deal of credit to Bojangles, the horse her husband has partnered with and grown to love through the years. Jimmy’s relationship with Bo has been a catalyst for personal growth and healing which is something Frank Boberek (Col. US Army Ret) wanted when he donated Bojangles to Loudoun Therapeutic Riding in August of 2016. We are very grateful for Frank’s generosity. LTR extends a big congratulations to the entire Ochan family on this milestone in their lives!

We are truly humbled to have been a part of this amazing family’s journey made possible by the generosity of so many individuals like you. Loudoun Therapeutic Riding provides its Equine Services for Heroes to veterans, like Jimmy, at no charge. We must raise $70,000 annually to cover the costs include horse care, shelter and feed, and adaptive tack and equipment plus skilled PATH-certified instructors for every veteran. Donate to Loudoun Therapeutic Riding to give people like Jimmy their lives back!